Balance, nuance and moderation

Things are hardly ever black and white. There are always different sides to a story. Upsides and downsides to a proposition. When it comes to ideas and values there are no absolute truths and I think it’s a virtue to doubt things.

Personally I almost always take a moderate, nuanced position, somewhere in the middle. But I also see why many people prefer clear-cut, black and white opinions, statements, positions. They are attractive because they are simple. They are clear. You can take a firm position. And all that gives certainty. People like certainty. They dislike doubt. They derive a sense of identity from their stand (in opposition to an adverse stand).

Of course, you and I will say that things are nuanced, that nothing is certain, that most things in life aren’t simple. But we have to admit that simplicity does appeal to many people. And that we are choosing the hard way. Critics say doubt is for cowards and nuance for people who are to weak to speak their mind. I disagree. Balance, nuance, doubt, moderation, are not signs of weakness or cowardice, on the contrary.

It may seem these days that our societies are tending more towards the extremes, but I doubt if that is the case. Yes, the extremes get the most attention, because they scream the loudest. But I think the silent majority of people is moderate. They just don’t tweet as much and certainly not in caps locks.