This I Believe

David - Briarcliff Manor, New York
Entered on June 9, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: nature, science

I Believe in the Equilibrium of Nature

In all areas of life, the idea of an equilibrium is a ubiquitous and pervasive concept. In chemistry, Le Chatelier’s Principle states that a system tends to balance itself when outside stimuli are applied. In physics, matter, energy, and momentum are all conserved despite the actions of the system. In finance, a balance sheet (so aptly named) must have an equal total on both sides. Even in art, color weighting is used (either consciously or subconsciously) to proportionally balance the colors within the artwork, to make it more visually pleasing.

The concept of a balance in our universe can also be seen in human law, as well as in physical and natural law. Because of my education in a public school, an orderly structure where interdisciplinary education is few and far between, I tend to see the world in sections. Just the same, I view the laws governing our world as two parts: the physical laws, which govern the world we see, feel, and touch, along with its constituents, and the human laws, the moral codes and justice systems we use to govern ourselves.

The physical balance of nature is more obviously seen than the human balance. The human balance is more subtle; viewed only through careful observation. Take this common proverb: what goes around comes around. This seemingly simple phrase’s validity to the human world is uncanny. This philosophy reflects a dynamic equilibrium. In science, a dynamic equilibrium is defined as equilibrium where outside stimuli affect both sides of the equation, though the balance remains the same. In other words, one side of the equation is affected, and therefore the other side must be affected to keep the equilibrium. Therefore, one could argue that if a person were to perform an action, a similar reaction would occur, in order to balance the equation.

Similarly, the Buddhist philosophy of the duality of nature holds true to this belief. The duality of nature states that all things in nature have two parts; a positive and negative, right or wrong, etc. Therefore, everything has two parts, each part would affect each other and keep them in check. For example, ‘every cloud has a silver lining’. This small statement shows how the bad of a situation is countered by the good, keeping the equation in check.

The belief in the balance in both worlds of law and in nature is, like all other philosophies, based on faith. What sets this apart from other religions and philosophies, however, is that many of its tenets are grounded in science, proven and re-proven to be true. Because I believe in logic and order, I will naturally lean towards philosophies in which they are grounded in logic and order. While no philosophy can be completely proven or disproven, it comes down to, once again, choice. But, if my philosophy holds true, the choices we make affect the choices other people make, thereby balancing the equation.