Election year. The time of great divides. War Hawks vs. Peace Doves. Pro-life vs. Pro-choice. Religion vs. Science. Red vs. Blue. Rights vs. Responsibilities. Good vs. Evil. Wrong vs. Right. How nice it would be if we could all just agree and get along, right?

As I soak all this in, it occurs to me how similar all this is to the philosophical and religious notion of balance in the universe. Yin/Yang. Karma. Do Unto Others…. Heaven/Hell. All of it points to the idea that there needs to be a balance in the universe in order to achieve total harmony. The esoteric “one-ness” that signals the approach of nirvana. Is this just dream, a philosophical carrot if you will? And surely this could be achieved if we all just worked together, right?

All around us are examples of perfect balance. Not just in natures ability to balance colors for example, but in solid, scientific principles. We are free to walk on this planet because of the wondrous balance between gravity and centrifugal force. We exist, and everything last thing around us for that matter, because of the total balance of negative and positive in the smallest of atoms that form the very essence of us. Balance. And those atoms seek the balance of other atoms, and together that balance forms matter, and that matter forms the earth, and balance of gravity and centrifugal forces keeps that matter in place. Total balance.

Then it hit me. What is balance without conflict? Can we all agree and just get along? We do walk because of the balance in forces, but that balance exists because those forces are in conflict. Just as hard as gravity is trying to squish us into mulch, centrifugal force is trying to fling us out to the heavens. Either one gives up trying to “win” and we lose.  If not for the conflict of repulsion and attraction between the nucleus and the electrons, matter would simply not be. The very basis of the big nasties that go BOOM is based on breaking that balance inside an atom.

So what does this all mean? Conflict can exist without balance, but balance cannot exist without conflict. Take away gravity, and we are star food. Split up a nucleus, and well, run. You can’t ride a see-saw alone.

Seek balance not by acquiescing , but by listening to others with the same intensity that you express your opinion. Seek balance not by running from or to conflict, but by accepting it’s role in the world. Seek balance in your own space, your own “atom” and allow that space to seek balance with others.

Talk to me