The Colour Grey Suggests Balance – Not Weakness

I want to talk today about the importance of the colour GREY! Yes – it does have a place. Yes – it does have value. It is a word which has varied meanings and has its place in the dictionary.

There is a line of thought that suggests that people who are very definite about things have strength, a resolve and a courage that others lack. They apparently have better leadership qualities and are often seen to be ‘right’ simply because they believe implicitly that there is only one way to view life; in BLACK & WHITE! There is absolutely no shade of grey in between. It is felt that in being able to experience or explore the area that occurs between the two polarities of black and white is a cop out and is an expression of a very drab and wishy washy approach to life. The black/white approach is far more forceful and thus will dominate. But is it ultimately more powerful? There is a big difference between these two words and something I will expand on in another post.

Grey or gray, is an achromatic or neutral colour. It is often associated with the following words: depression, boredom, old age, contentment, being undefined, neutral and balanced. The color grey is an emotionless, moody colour that is typically associated with meanings of dull, dirty, and dingy, but also of formal, conservative, and sophisticated. It is a cool, conservative colour that seldom evokes strong emotion although it can be seen as a cloudy or a ‘bad mood’ colour – a shade of white and a tint of black – ‘grayish’- not ‘garish’

In Feng Shui (the ancient Chinese art of organizing the flow of energy in living space) each colour brings with it a different quality of energy. Grey is usually treated either as boring (dull grey) or as a sophisticated, upscale Feng Shui colour (noble grey.) Overall, grey is a colour that is best used as an accent colour in Feng Shui, as it brings a crisp, sharp energy that can enliven and ‘clear’ any given space. Sharp, clear, and reflective are the Feng Shui energy properties of this Metal element associated with grey, and it can fully express these qualities.

Interesting indeed that the phrase ‘grey matter’ refers to being smart, intelligent, having brains and intellect. The saying ‘grey power’ is used in reference to the power of the elderly or senior citizens. Look for a moment to  “The Universal Law of Polarity”and the need to bring about balance through understanding that everything in the visible as well as the invisible world has an opposite, and that balance only comes about when we explore and understand both opposing poles.

The ‘black or white stance’ suggests thinking and therefore behaviour that is static and rigid. The ‘grey stance’ suggests flexible thinking and thus flexible actions. According to the dictionary meaning, ‘intelligence’ lies in the ability to vary its state or action in response to varying situations and past experience. Intelligence does not necessarily ‘live’ in something fixed or static. Static is the opposite of dynamic. Dynamic suggests being alive. Static implies stagnation and a lack of life.

There is much need in our present ‘2012 age’ for flexibility; the ability to think laterally, see around corners, find new solutions to old challenges and bring about change through innovative thought. Flexible thinking is to be found in ‘grey’ areas…not in black/white thinking. Eastern thinking advocating that having a flexible body brings with it a flexible mind has much value! A flexible mind is one which is capable of adapting & adjusting. If this is perceived by black/white thinkers as being weak or wishy/washy then so be their personal limitations!

Now don’t get me wrong. Neither way is right or wrong. Neither way is weak or strong. Learning to be grey in thought or learning to be black or white in thought needs only to be understood, implemented in order to be able to differentiate between the two and thus think/behave appropriately. The ability to behave with wisdom, love and responsibility in all situations is the ultimate goal. Difficult? Yes. Doable? Yes!!!!

Look at the difference between an Oak tree and a Bamboo. Neither one is weaker or stronger than the other. Neither one has more to offer than the other. There should be no comparison. Neither one has a greater value. Each has a place, benefit and role to play. An Oak is massive, strong and unbending. A Bamboo is flexible, slim, and hollow. Why would the Oak tree be better than the Bamboo? Why would the Bamboo be more than the Oak?


© 2012, Barbara Scogings. All rights reserved.

4 Responses to “The Colour Grey Suggests Balance – Not Weakness”

  1. Hadu April 24, 2013 at 9:55 pm

    Thanks Barbara for such an insightful article. As a 25 year old grey-thinker male, I have had a lot of trouble getting an immediate impression across in a given situation through my expressions solely. My eastern heritage has some part to play and living in a Western country, I have been “labelled” with all the adjectives you have described above.

    But. this lateral thinking ability is making it difficult to live and there comes a time when you feel you’re not being given a fair chance to thrive.

    Please, advise on how a bamboo can survive in an oak tree forest.

  2. Barbara April 25, 2013 at 8:37 am

    Hi Hadu,
    The key to your answer is in becoming as comfortable as possible in your own skin, so to speak. You need to get to a point where there is no need for comparison. If you need help with this, lets do some work together using Skype coaching.
    In grace,

  3. Hadu April 25, 2013 at 8:57 am

    Hi Barbara

    Thank you Barbara. My skype address is Hadi.Sheikh1.


  4. Olaf Eklund July 17, 2014 at 9:48 pm

    I like your take on GREY. I have always thought of it as an elegant colour, with many shades. Light grey evokes pictures of doves sitting in the branches of a tree, cooing and bringing peace.
    A darker shade of grey, though seemingly menacing, can conjure up pictures of storm clouds about to bring life-giving rain to a parched land.
    There are probably too many images that one can bring to life with the colour grey. I always picture a two-tone grey: dark grey ocean with huge waves and a lighter overcast grey sky, posing a challenge, a sink-or-swim scenario. Having experienced this in my Navy life, it is real to me. Interestingly, it was never frightening! On the contrary, I absolutely loved it. Dark grey sea, Medium grey sky, light grey ship, and ultimately white spray breaking over the ship and a fantastic fresh wind up on the deck blowing away any cobwebs. I still miss it!!!
    Of course, a bright, sunny day and quiet water on the beach is also beautiful, and each of them has its place. :-)

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