Life these days is fast-paced. The world has plunged itself into a period where time is a privilege. The simplicity of life is often a euphoric memory that people cherish. Everything comes at a cost and life seems to have digressed into a phase where course and action are rigidly based on the principle of “Give and Take.” While nature fundamentally promotes this principle in its various forms of expression, there is almost a serene sense of balance embedded in its ways. Interestingly though, Nature is also a ruthless teacher.
A distortion in the encapsulating balance unleashes nature in all its ferocity. If we for once, agreed to look beyond our constructed facades of complexity, a pristine sense of simplicity lies ahead putting all our worries to rest. Balance opens the gateway transcending towards a path of tranquillity and happiness. Without it, chaos descends upon humanity. However, there are always two sides to a coin, both of incredible importance. Just how much “balance” is right?
Balance spreads itself across every aspect of life in various forms ranging on a spectrum from emotional balance to material needs. Right from birth, we are confronted with various scenarios that test our sense of balance and those around us. Understandably as children, we focus on certain primary figures as our guidebooks to tackle life and its numerous forms of adversities. The human psyche is intriguing, to say the least, but quite malleable. Interestingly, we only ever gain control of what is rightfully our life and mind at an age where biologically, most of our character and the emotional blueprint has taken shape.
It is quite debatable when it is argued that a person is to be held completely accountable for their decisions or their inability to process certain norms. While balance appears to be very elementary a principle, it can potentially create people with revolutionary emotional and academic capabilities or completely devastate a human being’s life. Therefore, important figures like parents, guardians, mentors or even friends hold a moral responsibility in contributing to the psyche on an individual that could potentially mould how they perceive things in life.
Harmony and balance go hand in hand. For balance to prosper from an emotional standpoint, ego and fear must be kept aside. The first stage where balance is crucial is parenting. Parents often get confused about the “control” they hold over their children. It is the duty of a parent or guardian to be spiritually connected to their child, not mould a human who possesses their beliefs and devolves into a being that they aspired to be. It is imperative to understand that we are owned by none. Our souls are discrete and we hold individual rights over our lives.
It is injudicious to believe that we hold control over anybody based on the biological or legal relationship we hold over an individual. We are, in simple terms, just associated with a fellow human where we hold the privilege to influence their life for better, not for worse. It is a blessing when a person looks to you for guidance, not a power to be abused. However, what brings about the best in a human? Where does balance come in this? What is for better or worse?
It can be argued that raising children with no cardinal structure or principles might swing the other way. However, exercising ruthless control over your children, monitoring every aspect of their lives and using fear as a tool in hopes of creating the so-called “perfect” human who abides by your inherent expectations and that of the society’s is a perfect formula for disaster.
What could be the balance in this case? The answer in plain sight is mutual respect. We must understand that naming age or relationships as you reign over a human is the genesis of what is most definitely going to be a downward spiral. Respecting a human and their abilities as they transcend through life brings about a clear understanding of what the person is meant to be. We must see each individual as our equal, irrespective of their age. In their own right, we must acknowledge and positively act upon every tiny achievement and wrongdoing.
Far too many times, achievements are deemed unworthy on the basis of what we individually appraise as commendable. As a child, being able to build a sandcastle is no less worthy than being able to read. Interestingly, children who are praised on their micro achievements find it in them to move on to greater things.
Greater things that we must trust our child to build a life out of, not what we deem monetarily or emotionally stable. It is truly woeful to see children who grow up to be adults completely unaware of their capability because primary figures in their lives failed to acknowledge their abilities as meritorious. Conversely, we blow early wrongdoings out of proportion and devise punishments to rectify them. This marks the first stage of imbalance.
However, if we practice respect, we will find it within ourselves to see beyond the control and insecurity and let a child bloom in their own pace and right. Respect will make us see how beautifully diverse a child has been configured. Similarly, respect will help us steer a child around its mistakes but take them on a journey they gather insight from and not hold any memories of pain or fear.
What we fundamentally need to understand is that a child assimilates pain and fear and avoids the said mistake fearing the reaction of the parent, not the direct consequence of the mistake itself. Once we break through the fabric of age and the consequent obligations, there is no stopping the individual from committing these mistakes again or going extreme with their freedom unaware of any limit, as they are never enlightened on the true repercussions. The healthy practice of consideration will make the individual respect the guardian willingly, thus establishing said balance, security and harmony.
We now move on to the next stage in life which involves love, in the romantic and platonic sense. Love and the power it holds can be tricky. While love can be used to bring about a plethora of fantastic aspects of a human, it can also be used as a mask for manipulation and insecurity. Where do we draw the boundary, for ourselves and the people around us? Often times, people impose unimaginable rules on their “loved” ones in the name of concern. However, the true intent behind this is to fuel their insecurity of losing their clutches over a human that they think they own.
We fear losing our position in an individual’s life to others. In extremely toxic cases, this is done to satisfy inner insecurities that makes one feel powerless, urging them to abuse their privileges over someone dependent on them. Some people make their loved ones feel unworthy with intention, hoping for the individual to forever be dependent on their validation of them, hence making the toxic person feel important.
No amount of healthy security and assurance can fill their void of having to be in control expecting blind obeyance. If people do find it in them to retort, love is thrown around as a means to make the other feel guilty and oblige eventually. This brings about the second stage of imbalance where one person is shunned and the other is always miserable in their quest to make their “loved” ones submit without question. Most importantly, this is not just with your partner but could be with anybody from friends to family.
If it got to this stage, there was possibly no respect, to begin with. So how can one break free from these chains? Firstly, it is absolutely vital that we learn to respect ourselves enough to not let anybody consume our lives. Secondly, it is just as important to understand that it is okay to say no. It is not our responsibility to keep everyone happy.
As different individuals, we will always have a pool of people who resonate with our beliefs and a pool that doesn’t. These respective pools can have people who hold supposedly important positions in our lives. However, we are not morally obligated to comply with anything beyond our capabilities or beliefs, provided they are built on just grounds. Sure, pushing around your comfort zone to make someone happy occasionally brings about no harm.
The only principle that we need to stand by diligently is the awareness that our actions are within the confines of what is broadly considered kind and humane. If we attempt to balance people across our life, we will be left an empty shell filled with the needs and expectations of others. We will find ourselves being different people on each occasion finally crumbling when they all come together. Being honest with our true self is essential. Else, there will not be an ounce of individuality left and we will die, having lived the life of a million other people. Finding a middle ground that satisfies the needs of both parties while maintaining individualistic rights establishes the needed balance and happiness.
We now move on to an inverse aspect of balance but just as crucial – Material needs. In a constantly evolving world, nothing stays new or in trend for too long. However, does that make any object worth any less? Just how much money, assets or material goods make a human happy?
I would like to recount a personal experience pertaining to this factor. I observed that as time went by, I was progressively less enthusiastic about what I purchased in the material sense. Funnily, these products were arguably far more interesting or evolved than the last. I questioned the lack of contentment I was feeling when essentially, I should have been over the moon. I saw a room clustered with products of immense capabilities but stood there feeling hollow.
This marks the third stage of imbalance. We amalgamate a combination of methods to restore this balance. Firstly, an item that is earned brings out true delight as opposed to something being handed to you with no knowledge of what it took to acquire.
Secondly, too much of anything is unpleasant. Have you observed how purchasing something as simple as a local comic book once in a blue moon made you burst with ecstasy? However, with a market exploding with revolutionary technology delivered at your command, nothing seems to spark the same elation a simple comic book did. You claim to love pizza, don’t you? How about you make it your daily meal and observe how long the happiness lasts.
What is important is that we first distinguish between needs and indulgence. Focusing on the needed functionality of something will help us draw the line. While it is healthy and absolutely necessary to indulge, we must weigh out the needs and the wants. The wants are infinite and surprisingly, the more we acquire, the more it loses value. A holistic sense of living that connects us to our roots brings about a more realistic sense of euphoria than an endless hoard of material products.
In most cases, the two worlds – emotional and material collide. Often times, in pursuit of material balance (I don’t mean to jog your memory on your chemistry classes here), people forget that there are others who are emotionally dependent on them and that your time to them is imperative.
Agreed, financial stability is perhaps one of the most important factors to a content life however, beyond a point, people drown in their pursuit behind acquisitive needs in the name of stability. This, in turn, could potentially crush the people around while they seek your emotional blanket as you walk around, clouded by your need to make more. Rush back to the people who need you before it is too late. No amount of care can heal a person who was denied of their needs when it mattered most.
What I have spoken about here are three very broad stages of balance. Balance percolates its ways into the most microscopic aspects of our lives. We dream of harmony and peace but claim to struggle in seeing the light beyond the convolution of life. Nature, in its essence, has lessons strewn around in abundance for us to gather insight from. Developing an eclectic sense of living while assimilating these holistic lessons drive us towards a better standard of living encasing all outlooks of life.
Nature is known to be a giver. The very life we hold and its sustenance is derived from the benevolence of nature. Without balance, however, nature is known to teach us its consequences brutally. With the oncoming storm of climate change marking out impending doom, nature teaches us to not take more than we can give.
While that is an entire discussion altogether, it is about time that we withdraw ourselves from our mindless ways and bring out life in all its splendour, a life worth living. The grandeur of life is minimized by our so-called obligations carved in our minds and accumulated over centuries. Hold the power to not just make your life a celebration but inspire others to glide through a journey filled with extravaganza and contentment. Freedom, respect and responsibility will finally bring about the tranquil of harmony, something that is merely a musical term now.
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