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.

Payatas

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.

The best and safest thing is to keep a balance in your life, acknowledge the great powers around us and in us. If you can do that, and live that way, you are really a wise man.” – Euripides Greek tragic dramatist (484 BC – 406 BC)

So divinely is the world organized that every one of us, in our place and time, is in balance with everything else.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe German dramatist, novelist, poet, & scientist (1749 – 1832)

When our life is out of balance we have stress! Balance in your life does bring less stress to your life!” – Catherine Pulsifer

Quite frankly, I don’t think “time” is the problem. The real problem is the number of activities or tasks that we take on. A sign of our time is that we forget how to say “no”, and take on far too many things.” – Catherine Pulsifer

Balance, peace, and joy are the fruit of a successful life. It starts with recognizing your talents and finding ways to serve others by using them.” – Thomas Kinkade

Live a balanced life – learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.” – Robert Fulghum

Balance. The Ultimate Goal.” – Ricky Lankford

We can be sure that the greatest hope for maintaining equilibrium in the face of any situation rests within ourselves.” – Francis J. Braceland

Fortunate indeed, is the man who takes exactly the right measure of himself, and holds a just balance between what he can acquire and what he can use.” – Author Unknown

Just as your car runs more smoothly and requires less energy to go faster and farther when the wheels are in perfect alignment, you perform better when your thoughts, feelings, emotions, goals, and values are in balance.” – Brian Tracy

Happiness depends on how you balance your life’s equations between positive and negative experiences and attitudes.” –Kall

Balance is the perfect state of still water. Let that be our model. It remains quiet within and is not disturbed on the surface.” – Confucius

Work hard and play hard. But don’t confuse the two.” – Author Unknown

Balance in your life between work and your personal life is very important. Without balance, you eventually burnout negatively affecting your performance at work.” – Byron Pulsifer

Let the beauty of what you love be what you do.”

“Everyone has been made for some particular work, and the desire for that work has been put in every heart.”

“The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you; Don’t go back to sleep. You must ask for what you really want; Don’t go back to sleep. People are going back and forth across the doorsill where the two worlds touch. The door is round and open. Don’t go back to sleep.”

Be occupied, then, with what you really value and let the thief take something else.” – Mevlana Rumi – 13th century sufi poet/mystic

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