Seven Billion Shades of Gray

article image

Buffett, son of billionaire investor Warren Buffett, is an Emmy
Award-winning composer, NY Times best-selling author and noted
philanthropist. Currently, he is releasing socially-conscious music and
touring his “Concert & Conversation” series in support of his book
Life Is What You Make It

I helped bury a friend’s dog last week. I’d never personally
buried an animal that I was so close to. I had never sat with someone I knew so
well as they lost the animal that got them through so many emotional points in
their life.

This dog had absorbed so much pain and joy from my friend.
He was his trusted link to life. So when he became ill, my friend had to look
outside his insular world built around him and his dog and realize that he had
a community of friends that wouldn’t abandon him … friends–and a life–he
could trust.

You see, my friend lost his father in a plane crash when he
was a child. His world–his story of family and safety and trust–was
shattered. Another father figure entered his life and began to abuse him in
ways too awful to describe.

My friend created a well-deserved cocoon for himself and his
beliefs hidden safely away from the outside world.

The vet that heard my friend cry … scream … in anguish over
the loss of this dog had no idea where the depths of the cry came from. But I
did. I heard a boy losing his father, losing his innocence, and losing everything
that he thought was real in an instant. And then if that wasn’t enough, more
pain to penetrate to the core of his deepest wound. In his cry I began to hear
crying children everywhere, shattered by an event–death, abuse, rape,
abandonment– all traumas that can break a soul.

And I thought right then, as I saw life leave the dog and
heard the primal screams from my dear friend. What do we know about anyone? How
can we possibly judge any action we don’t fully understand? Every person’s
story has a depth and complexity to it that deserves deep respect and full
attention if we’re going to base any judgment or action of our own on someone
else’s behavior.

The vet had no clue where the depth of my friend’s cries
came from. Fortunately, she was a sensitive soul. Maybe she recognized the
sound. I certainly had no idea what her story was. In fact, I was already
assuming (as I still am) that she couldn’t understand. Maybe she knew exactly
what those cries meant because she had cried similar tears.

We just don’t know unless we take the time and suspend our
own story long enough to hear someone else’s. And even then, it’s imperfect. We
can all agree on certain things, but ultimately, reality is completely and
utterly subjective.

No story is the only story. But there is one common element.
Love. And every story is just trying to find its way back to the safety found
in love.

7 billion versions of them.

Visitwww.peterbuffett.comandChange Our Storyto learn more.

In-depth coverage of eye-opening issues that affect your life.