Right and Wrong Lessen Our Choices

Ink and Colored Pencil on Pastel Paper – Words; Bob Dylan

For week thirty-four of our calligraphy challenge we were asked to be inspired by Bob Dylan lyrics. I knew his typical songs, so I wanted to find one I did not know. He wrote this song Bob Dylan’s Dream in 1962. I had never heard it and was struck by the black and white, wrong and right references. I wanted to write it as if Dylan may have sketched it out for his producer or other artists. I wanted to play on ‘right’ and ‘white’ with black ink instead of the expected white.

Dylan reminds us that when we know wrong from right our choices are then much smaller; which assumes we are drawn to choose the right path more often than the wrong one. That can sound like a very black and white decision when in reality dong the right thing is often a tough call. It can mean alienating people who do not share your same values or moral compass, and when challenged what you think is right may not agree with everyone’s version of truth.

Our paths are determined and made more concrete by the choices we make in terms of right and wrong. A wrong decision, one in which black or the opposite way leads us down a road from which we can never return. A wrong move and life is altered forever. A right choice can have that same consequence; it has the power to alienate and push others the opposite direction. Not everyone understands doing the right thing. To look the other way, cover it up or ignore the offense seems a “kinder” option, not realizing that avoiding consequences or “being kind” does not make it right, it creates and environment of doubt. When others find out about our “kind” choice they too doubt our decisions making abilities, and we doubt ourselves moving forward. Our courage has been challenged and we failed to uphold the truth. That’s a hard fact to live with.

Bob Dylan was a visionary, a rebel, a brilliant song writer during a tumultuous in history. His words and ideas have lived for nearly sixty years. His “black and white” way of seeing the world forces each of us to reflect and understand our own sense of wrong and right. He tells us the truth in that right and wrong lessen our choices, so it is up to us to do the right thing and live with it even when others do not understand.

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