A goal of maturity is to understand that the world in reality and practice is grey. We are all dickheads and we are all good people. We are a lot of people in this world and we have a lot of conflicting ideas; we have to endure each other and understand that we most likely have our fair share of wrong. One thing Switzerland has taught me is that compromise is a positive term. Here compromise is the queen word in politics: we discuss, we take into account the legitimate different positions and in the end we come out with a compromise, because we are different.

Everything is grey. Grey helps us to move forward and live an acceptable life. As they say, the human being is a crooked wood impossible to straighten: all those visions that want to straighten the human being by creating a society from scratch are to be looked at with great concern because it always ends in tragedy. So, more than a question of moderation VS extremism, I think it is mainly living in ideas VS living in reality. We can think all we want but when we interact in reality we move in the grey. If we can distinguish between the levels, i.e. the world of perfect ideas and the world of reality, which is not and will never be as perfect as we want, we can also live more peacefully.

When we move in the grey we also understand other people are not necessarily monsters. Of course I have a minimum standard for not wanting to deal with people; for example if a person is grossly racist or homophobic, I think it’s best to stay away from them. But grey is everywhere. Think of your sweet grandmother who loves you so much but comes out with something shockingly racist every now and then. Is she a horrible person? Probably not, she is from another era and has lived in a different context from this one. There are normal people out there who lead normal lives and who may have odd ideas or ideas that we don’t share. Maybe they are simply not informed people, maybe because they are informed they think that way. This does not mean that they are horrible people to stay away from. In the grey we listen and even learn. We are all dickheads and we are all good people.