Rigidity is defined by the Webster-Miriam Dictionary as “the quality or state of being unwilling to change opinions or behaviors.” In this regard, a person has their way of acting and will attempt to do nothing to change it, despite having every reason to do so. Anyone can be rigid or routine about anything, whether it is eating habits or room organization. Sometimes, people attempt to control their lives, filling it with absolutes instead of ambiguities, leaving little room for interpretation or growth.
I am such a person. My rigidity stems from my Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Anxiety, which was diagnosed when I was in elementary school. Whenever I feel content at where I stand, I try not to do anything to disrupt what I have, even if it means halting my progress. Even though I have received therapy and am able to control it, it still has its place in my life. More specifically, my rigidity continually influences my outlook on life. Because of this, I continually view the world and my actions through black and white lenses. There is only right and wrong, no shapes of gray, no morally ambiguity.
It is because of this that I continually compare myself to Inspector Javert, a character from Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables. Like me, the character is driven by a black and white view of the world, in his case, it is the view that a person is either absolutely good or evil; no moral ambiguity can be distinguished. It is when ambiguity is presented to him that he panics, eventually choosing to end his life rather than deal with ambiguities instead of absolutes. It is his inability to adapt that causes him to take such drastic measures, because he is terrified of everything that is beyond his mental and moral comfort zone.
Unlike Javert, I still find the drive to move on. I am fully aware that there are gray choices to be made. I never want to find myself in that kind of a situation, but sometimes they are unavoidable. When the time comes, I just need to hope that I made the right choice, as I will somewhat worry about what consequences will spring from it. Life is not a video game where you can reload the last save if you did not like your choice previously. Heck, I might not even know of the consequences.
So, what does this all mean? I know that I am still a work in progress. That checkmark is slowly making its appearance under GRAY; it is just a matter of time. No matter how long it takes, I am still willing to explore the murky waters before me. Of course it is slow, but what isn’t? If you do not have to fight for something, than it really was not worth the effort. It is the journey that makes it worthwhile. As long as I am willing to sometimes take the road less traveled by, then I know that there is hope and maturity in the foreseeable future. That, I feel, is an encouraging thought, as it can help me deal with life’s ambiguities, making me less rigid and more susceptible to change.