Balance

Austin - Marietta, Georgia
Entered on October 17, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

I believe that life contains a balance. I think that for everything, the world has something that is opposite it. Without something to oppose it, any idea or object or concept would lose its purpose and essence. Within us, good cannot exist without evil, nor can evil exist without good. Love and hate rely upon each other for existence, and if intelligence exists, so must stupidity. If we take away goodness or hate, there would be nothing for evil or love to disagree with and both would wash over the world, becoming meaningless.

By the same token, a state of equilibrium will never and must never be reached between aspects of the world. In life we must always have one side of ourselves be stronger, because as soon as equilibrium between aspects of our lives is reached, we will lose an important part of our humanity: our flaws.

As an athlete and a student I learned this lesson of balance through my physical and academic activities. Directly after school each day, I would go to rowing practice on a local river. I would stay there until 7:30 practicing because that was when it became too dark to see. At eight o’clock, I would get home and shower and eat before starting my homework at nine. Due to the demanding and abusiveness of practice, I would without exception fall asleep while reading some text book or completing some worksheet or another. And I never finished my homework. It wasn’t worth it. My team was my life, and gradually tumbled into a state of imbalance. My school work withered into nonexistence as did my rowing as the pressure to do well in school pestered me. Finally, as though I had a drinking problem, I hit “rock-bottom”. The straight A student had managed to pull a D out of Geometry with three weeks left in the semester. My Ivy League parents yanked me out of crew and away from my friends without skipping a beat and promptly locked me in my room for those three weeks. By the end of the semester I was able to bring the 72 to a 79.6 and heave myself into B territory.

Sadly, as I entered my sophomore year, I was still suspended from crew and required to dedicate the semester to straight, strong A’s. So for seven weeks I dominated in any and all academic areas until I repeated my earlier mistake, became too focused on school, and promptly snapped under a new form of stress from my school life. I learned that a physical release would be necessary to maintain a semblance of balance in my life.

But as I reflected on my epiphany, I discovered that we must have something to balance and without a fatal flaw, we become fatally unflawed. A balance must be maintained then between balance and imbalance. For if we achieve what we strive for, we will lose our human core. Without something to correct within ourselves, we become incorrect.