My parents have always taught me from the beginning of life, from my childhood, from my very first memories, that life is ultimately a fight between black and white.
To them, there is essentially nothing else.
For, they believe that everything we do, how we behave is clearly black and white, without that smudging of colour (or lack of colour) into a soothing and neutral grey.
I can hardly fault them for attempting to teach us the importance of morality and making the right choices. Certainly those teachings are engraved into our minds and hearts as memories of old.
But for me, more recently especially, I've come to the conclusion that life really isn't just decisive black and whites. There are these shades of greys that lay between the black and white, and it is in those shades that we define ourselves.
There is absolutely nothing simple about life.
This does not mean, of course, that I believe we should abandon all systems of morality. The law is enacted to keep individuals safe, and is there for a very good reason.
However, there are certain arenas of life, where nothing our parents teach us can prepare use for the difficulty of choices we must make.
Perhaps I am not articulating this well, but basically, life isn't anything like what we are taught.
I was led to believe that choosing the right thing is remarkably simple and should come naturally to someone with a strong conscious.
Nothing in my life teaching touched on the right or wrong of war, and most importantly, I was not taught enough of the consequences and repercussions that individual actions have.
Although I would never turn to a Harry Potter book for adages of wisdom, one line from Dumbledore has stuck with me very clearly. It went something along the lines of, "It the choices we make that define who we are".