Opinion by Richard Bleil
The problem, in my humble opinion, with our society is one of balance. You see it in many aspects of our society. In our diets, we eat too much of what we like at the expense of other foods that we know are good for us. We love foods with sugar, fats, and salt, and as a result we have widespread problems with obesity and high blood pressure. The truth is that nothing is really bad for you in a properly balanced diet.
I’m not saying that I’m any better. I just ate four candy bars. Trust me, I’m not a dietary role model, except perhaps as the “before” model.
Balance goes beyond diet, though. The point of this blog is not to tell you to eat your veggies. But I do hope I can get my readers to think about the balance in your lives.
I have so much trouble with the concept of balance. There are so many philosophies that preach this concept. Even in Genesis, God took a day off to rest. In business philosophy, this is referred to as “sharpening the saw”. Yes, we can work for seemingly endless hours, sacrifice free time and weekends, and even force ourselves to “push through” those walls our psyche put up in a fruitless effort to tell us when we need a break, but the net result of doing so is lost productivity. We get less work done in more time because we need those breaks to keep us sharp.
The Masonic teachings tell us (and I hope I’m not betraying my brothers with any Masonic secrets here, but I don’t think this is one of them) that it is important to break our days up into thirds, spending equal time with sleep, career and family. Many religions embrace the concept of a “sabbath”, an entire day of rest each week. Top business leaders believe in vacations, taking weeks off. All to refresh; all to regain balance.
But, all aspects of our life need to be in balance. It’s, honestly, hypocritical of me to be writing about balance since, after all, nothing in my life is currently in balance. But trust me, you don’t want my life. But I know that my life is out of balance. My work and free time have always been out of balance. My income, debt and spending are most definitely out of balance. And my love life is out of balance.
When I say my love life, I’m not talking about sex, although, frankly, that’s out of balance as well. I mean the love in my life is out of balance. I’m miles from most of my friends, I’m estranged from my family, and I am not romantically involved. And my life is pathetic.
All I can do is model what you do not want to become. I understand all too well that sometimes it becomes important to distance yourself from toxic people, even if they are your own family. But be careful. I find that because I’ve been hurt by so many people, I tend to distance myself from others before they can hurt me too. My friends have kept me alive, quite literally, and are the shining stars in my life, but I find myself miles away from them, and I suspect it’s out of fear that if I’m around them for too long, I’ll do or say something, or just spend so much time with them that they get tired of me. And here I am, miles away, with a love life that is out of balance.
Foster your relationships. Everybody needs time alone, but we all need the love of our friends, significant others, and family when it’s possible. The holiday season is upon us, a time of family and friends, and a time of resolutions. So, here is an idea.
During the holidays, spend a little time thinking about the balance, specifically balance, in your life. Do you lack the sleep you need on a regular basis? Do you have enough time for yourself? Think of the people who are important in your life. Do you give you spouse, your kids, your family, your friends a good amount of time? Do you give yourself enough time off? Take time to identify the imbalances in your life, where the chakras of your life are misaligned, and come up with a plan to bring them back to the balance they deserve. For your New Year’s Resolution, then, execute that plan. It will make you a better person, and you and your loved ones will all be happier for it.
Just something to think about from a man who knows a little bit about the damage lack of balance brings.