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  • Feel free to browse around... 'BALANCE IN LIFE' Category

    Of the good in you I speak, but not of the evil. You are good when you walk to your goal firmly and with bold steps. You are not evil when you go limping. Even those who limp do not go backward. In your longing for your giant self lies your goodness; and that longing is in all of you.” – Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet (1923)

    An old limping man asks me to help him up with the metal scraps he scrounged in the trash yard that day. “I am going to sell this to a Chinese who owns a junk shop nearby.” he says. In his friendly ways, I can sense how harsh life is treating him. In spite of material poverty this old man is living, surprisingly, I can see joy in his eyes.


    While helping him,  he requested me to hold a weight of about four pounds in my right hand. “Now extend your right hand out to the full length of your arm. In order to counter balance that weight, you will tilt your body slightly to the left.” Metaphorically, then, if your burdens are all in one area of your life, your entire life will skew in one direction to counter balance the affect.”

    His remark about life made me wonder if he sensed how I was observing him. He continued.
    “Now hold weights of two pounds each, one in each hand, and extend your arms to full length. You are carrying the same weight, but because it is distributed differently, it is easier to bear.”

    “And now hold those same weights in the same hands, but let your arms rest at your sides. Once again, the same amount of weight, but even easier to carry.” Deep inside me, I am certain of learning something from his wisdom. So, I allowed myself to be attentive to what he is about to say.

    “So again, the point is that it is not only the weight itself that we carry, not only the burdens of life that we carry; it is also the way in which we carry them that causes us to bear them more or less easily.

    I sit in silence looking at how I am carrying or balancing my “loads” in life.

    Usually, when we speak of balance in our lives, we look at the things we do, we focus on our actions and the time we commit to them. Example, forty hours each week to our work, twenty hours to our families, and ten hours to ourselves, etc.

    But that is not all that is meant when speaking about balance in our lives. There are also the balance of emotions, and the balance of attitudes.

    Things are “balanced” if they are of equal weight on all sides. Does it mean, being really angry on one day and really happy on another? No, I don’t think it’s a balanced emotional life because carrying even light weights at their extremes is a tiring exercise.

    Genuine balance and harmony, genuine equanimity, comes when the RANGE of our emotional response is less extreme. It comes when our anger is accompanied by compassion, when our fear is accompanied by faith, when our joy is accompanied by sorrow.

    Now, I understand the glow in his eyes despite his impoverished lifestyle, limping physically but walking normally in his balanced attitude in life.

    I believe that the true balance in our lives is achieved when love and kindness override fear and anger; that the true balance in our lives is achieved when love and kindness prevail in spite of world’s turmoil: injustice and war.


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