An expression frequently uttered by many in today’s society, is: “Life is about balance.” While I couldn’t agree more, this statement leaves much open for interpretation. Life, as we all can attest to, can be chaotic, complex, and confusing; consequently, where does the idea of balance fit into our daily lives? Is “living a balanced life” a matter of practicality, spirituality, or is it merely a clever-sounding catchphrase quickly digested like so many other sayings pontificated in the world of self-help?
When I was a child, I was fascinated by tightrope walkers. High up and accompanied solely by their balancing pole, they cautiously began their terrifying trek along that thin wire. In the beginning, they may have faltered or stumbled, intensifying the crowds’ suspense and nearly audibilizing the pounding hearts of the onlookers. However, what began as a mortifying journey soon transformed into a thrilling spectacle of leaps and other acts of seemingly death-defying prowess, proving their ability to balance physically was one of epic proportions.
Perhaps what made it more enthralling was as a child, the many attempts to mimic them – although at a much safer level and using a two by four instead of a rope – I rarely made it past 4 or 5 steps. It wasn’t until much later when I discovered the balancing pole was an important part in keeping their balance.
Understandably, balance is key to a tightrope walker’s survival. Likewise, there are other professions that demand an acute ability to maintain balance, but the physical aspect of balance is not the only area in our lives where it is needed.
The balancing act begins
Living balanced is something typically not planned or woven into our daily lives. It is often low on our priority list because there is no urgency forcing us to make it more of a habit. Our schedules are dictated by hectic realities and responsibilities which often take precedence over tasks we deem inconsequential at that moment.
It would be frivolous and arrogant of me to assume I have the formula for anyone wanting to live a life fully in balance. But rather than reflecting on how this works individually, let’s focus on how living a balanced life with those around us is just as important as living it on an individual basis.
When we consider this kind of balance on a truly profound level, it forces us to think about why our interactions and dealings with society are vital to us all.
The world was not created strictly for our own benefit and a balanced life never consists of merely considering what works best for us. There is no job description where the single person with whom you interact or transact is yourself. We all are dependent in one way or another on human interaction and connection.
Becoming aware of how integral this kind of balance is to our daily life is essentially the beginning of our “balancing act.” Furthermore, when we earnestly endeavor to better communicate and cooperate with others, this effort functions as our “balancing pole” living a better “balancing act.”
Unfortunately, navigating our daily responsibilities is not always conducive to constructive interactions and communications with others. It often requires a definitive choice to accept and stay committed to living in a fair and equitable way towards our fellow human beings. Fortunately, when we struggle through these efforts, it progresses into a natural and habitual part of daily life. It inspires and fosters within us a need for equality and fairness. We cannot live in a self-centered world while exercising to live a balanced life.
The rewards of balanced living
When we strive toward balanced living, life is experienced on a much greater level than what money offers. We positively impact the world around us by instinctively promoting kindness and caring. We become more thoughtful and less self-consumed. We stay true to our word and personal integrity is a far greater prize than any paycheck could ever represent.
Living balanced with others also supports living balanced on a personal level. It helps us distinguish what is truly important and takes our focus away from the frivolous and mundane things for which we previously had given too much prominence.
Living in balance with one another never allows the scales to tip unfairly. It doesn’t blind us nor make us naïve when injustice occurs. Although it is not a remedy for perfect decision making and does not crown us with flawless judgment, it will compel us to act when we do perceive inequality and discrimination.
In today’s climate of protestation against injustice and racial inequality, what we very well may be experiencing are the consequences of society’s efforts to sustain an out-of-balance scale toward those who have been habitually oppressed and scorned for their lifestyle choices. It is the aftermath of purposeful manipulation by those in power to advance their arrogant causes knowing full well their efforts will produce extreme pain and sorrow on many while having no effect on their cold hearts. What they fail to realize is the harder they push to instill their selfish views, the more they expose their despicably self-serving ideologies.
Living a life of balance is first a choice. It is accepting that you as an individual are part of and connected to something greater than yourself. While you can still strive to become the best version of you, there is now a realization of a cause far outweighing any personal ambitions, and leaving this world a better place for your existence is the true legacy of a balanced life.
We may not believe our actions can change the world but when we live in balance with one another, we influence it on a much greater scale than we could have ever imagined.