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The Essential Art of Balance


It’s not only true in finance and cooking, it’s true for all of life. When something is out of balance, everything seems off. For years I worked on balancing my checkbook every month but carried a $.03 discrepancy for over a year and a half. It nearly drove me crazy, but I eventually gave up my search for whatever entry it was that had thrown the balance out of whack. And, of course, if you don’t have the proper balance among the ingredients of a cake, you’ll end up with a failed dessert. So too in life. Life out of balance can be not much of a life at all.

We know about “all work and no play.” But there’s also the dangerous tilt of being irresponsibly self-absorbed when it comes to obligations and relationships. Just as a newly planted bed of flowers will not likely thrive if neglected, getting them in the ground is only half the work required. If there’s not a balance between trusting nature to do as it is designed to do and being an attentive partner in the growth process, you can end up with a bed of withered stalks. Life requires careful attention. Life out of balance can be not much life at all.

We know well from our relationships that if one person feels as though the other is “all take and no give,” there will be, at a minimum, little joy. More likely there will be much struggle and even potential ruin. Whether in an organization environment, a circle of friends, or a domestic partnership, balance is needed. Responsible accountability and genuine respect are essential. Without such balance-creating ingredients, funds could be embezzled, gossip could poison, and trust could be violated. If unaddressed or untreated, companies could implode, friendships explode, and partnerships erode. Life out of balance may eliminate life from the equation altogether.

If you are reading these words, you have been given the very precious gift of life. Sure, we’re all pretty much free to choose how we live the days we receive. But living out of balance will eventually take a toll. If we abuse authority and use humanity and exploit the earth and neglect the vulnerable, life will no longer be workable for any of us. Genuine respect for all of life and responsible accountability to the Author of all life are essential for bringing balance to the proper exercise of freedom and the thriving of the planet. Life lived with the essential art of balance is life at its best.

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