The Zebra Analogy

I’m sure this idea has been brought up and talked about a few times in history, probably more than that, but I wanted to make a post about it from my perspective. Since I was young my grandmother would always tell me that when things are bad, there is good right around the corner; vice versa.

There’s a lot of talk about the “good and the bad” of life. If your more logical thinker, the “positives and the negatives” of life. Now, not many people seem to care about the grays of life, when most of us are living in it right now.

In my post, the Image of Man, I explained how the gray areas are the most important part of our lives, not the “good”or the “bad,” it’s what gets us to those points. At the end of the day theres nothing out there I’ve read that really drills this analogy home how I’ve thought of it. So here goes nothing…

“The Zebra Analogy” KEWB 22’
The zebra analogy is as ‘simple’ as this:

as we all (hopefully) know, a zebra has a combination of both black and white stripes, a unique pattern passed down from zebra to zebra but never staying the exact same. Each pattern a zebra is born with is never the same and neither are we.

The pattern on the zebra is a black and white pattern, no color, only grays where black and white don’t exist. To me this represents the positive and negative parts we go through in our lives, in many cultures the animal itself is a symbol of a peaceful and balanced life. If you look closely in any animal though, there is always a fade of some kind, there is no definite cut off point for either color. The same goes for human lives as well, there is no definite cut off to anything “good” or “bad” going on in our lives, everything is just a happening, as Alan Watts would say.

For a long time we’ve associated white with being positive and black with being negative (racism ring any bells??) anyways… The zebra analogy can be used to help cope with our daily lives. Reminding us that our life is one big beautiful pattern full of gray areas within the positive and the negative happenings. Nothing is permanent. And nothing is only “black” or only “white” because the gray area does exist, even if it’s barely visible.

As my grandmother would say, “it may be a dark time now kid, but always remember the bright side is through the gray and the gray will bring back the dark again.” I can still see the vivid memory in my mind of her pointing to the zebra painting on the wall above her old couch. The gray shading of the animal was almost the entire painting with thin stripes of black and white layered over the zebras body. Ever since I was young I would ask “what is black and what is white? Who decided that to be “true” and why are people afraid of the dark and dark things?

“I suppose it’s false that we are afraid of what we cannot see and true that we are afraid of what we cannot comprehend.

Of course it’s plausible we cannot comprehend all that we can see, and possible we cannot see all that we can comprehend.”

emriyus 2022

“The Zebra Analogy” KEWB 22’

With younger generations becoming more glued to technology and material items, they are becoming less aware of the reality we face as human beings. Generally speaking, children born and raised with the technology and social media we have today are either “too smart for their age” or “too young to act smart” at all. The divide amongst youth and adults is growing, as each town starts to border each together.

That said, I usually end my posts with some kind of rhetorical question to get people thinking about existentialism, but is it too much? Is there such thing as “too much?” We’re all the judge here.


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Monthly newsletters are sent the last day of every month.

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Published by emriyus

I am human, just like you. I have been around for 20 years and although it may not be a lot of time to some, it feels like I've been alive forever. To cope with all the things my life has given me; good and bad, I've always been a writer. Maybe I didn't know or necessarily want to be a writer, but I was always on the creative side, not really understanding how different I was from others; I'm really not that different from you. To this day I'm still eager to learn more about myself, to improve and grow amorphously. I want to use this fuel of constant self-discovery as the direct source of 'energy' that can create whatever I want it to, making writing for me a healthier coping mechanism than most I've tried in my lifetime. That being said, I believe that starting my blog, The Existentialist, (all thanks to Wordpress and Bluehost teams) I finally have the opportunity and creative outlet to unleash my passion for art; writing. The beginning is never easy, and it won't get much easier I am aware. I can only believe in myself and keep my expectations to a minimum; I like to believe I hold no expectations, but they seem unavoidable. To whoever reads this, I'm not one to care about views or reads, I won't encourage/pressure you to read my work because for me, the thrill really comes from just making a finished piece of work I'm happy with, regardless if it is read by others or not; judgement from others is what I've feared all my life. I can only encourage you to have an open mind as a reader and believe in me as much as I believe in myself to accumulate the courage to start showing my creative writing(art) to the world. Everybody creates things in their lifetime, I am just another one of those beings; whether you like it or not, nouns (persons, places and 'things') exist to teach us something about ourselves. There is always more to learn...

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