The Mid-Point – A No Brainer?
Below, are my thoughts on what I call the Mid-Point — how to strike a productive balance in life. What are your thoughts?
Here’s a little “visual” poem I wrote:
CONVEX & CONCAVE
Hot & cold
meek & bold
wet & dry
ground & sky
shallow & deep
flat & steep
tall & short
starboard & port
high & low
fast & slow
happy & sad
good & bad
peace & worry
wait & hurry
The Meaning Two ends
of this riddle? on a middle!
Why write such a poem? Actually it’s part of a lager text, in which it’s meant to illustrate a simple fact: Not only does just about everything in life we deal with have two extremes, it also has a mid-point – a place of balance. As you’ve probably guessed, there’s supposed be a gem of wisdom in that sentence. In case you missed it, it goes something like this:
The mid-point is a very comfortable and advantageous space when it comes to leading healthy, happy lives and enjoying positive, productive societies. When we begin to stray from the mid-point, however, and move toward an extreme – on either end of the continuum – we’re usually in for trouble.
If we eat too much we get fat. If we eat too little we waste away. If we become too immobile we stagnate. If we’re too active we become exhausted. If we’re too impulsive we sacrifice logic for thrills. If we’re too logical, we sacrifice the experience of life for organization. The list goes on, and on…and on. All examples of extremes and all detrimental. But in each of these cases, as in all other aspects of our lives, if we occupy a place somewhere in the middle, we strike an appropriate balance and all remains well.
My little verse is simplistic in its presentation; maybe too much so for an adult audience. I mean, we all know about the value of balance and middle ground in managing our personal lives, right? And how about our society as a whole?
When one group opposes abortion and another condones it, must they occupy two extremes? Is either extreme a workable solution? The fact is, there are times when abortion is the right thing to do. There are also times when it’s a travesty.
And how about the argument for and against investing in equal opportunity work, welfare and education programs. Is either extreme: “Absolutely! Support for all!” or “No way am I paying for that!” a beneficial position for us as a society? Assisting the needy and underprivileged is usually beneficial for us all in the long run. But in some cases it’s discriminatory, wasteful and detrimental.
In the case of violent criminals, must our position be either: “Lock up those no goods and throw away the keys! or, “Let those poor, brutalized individuals out from behind bars and start counseling and educating them.” Violent criminals out on the street? Not in my neighborhood, thank you! But proven rehabilitation programs, combined with imprisonment, while we work together to tackle the problems of how to reduce violence in future generations? Sounds good to me.
In each of these cases, as with so many others in our lives, what makes sense is finding a balance – a mid-point.
So how about Congress? On Capitol Hill, where the most critical decisions about our country’s future and our wellbeing are made, it certainly seems like a war of extremes these days. But, hey, they all understand this simplistic mid-point business, right? I mean, hey, they’re all intelligent, scholarly, experienced, responsible leaders.
And it’s a no-brainier, right?