The second exercise in the Sandbox Writing Challenge asks:
“Do you consider yourself a balanced person?”
Because I’ve struggled (really struggled) with answering this question, I’ve decided to take a closer look at the meaning of the word ‘balanced’. According to Dictionary.com when speaking of a person or state of mind, balanced means: having no emotion too strong or too weak; stable.
In other words (and here I’ve selected just a few synonyms): level-headed, well-adjusted, sensible, practical, realistic, prudent, pragmatic, reasonable, rational, mature, sane, judicious, sound, sober, reliable, dependable. Wow! I always thought I could hold my head high and say that I was a balanced person.
Now I’m not so sure.
“No emotion too strong or too weak.” That doesn’t sound like me at all. I may well fit the mould all those synonyms create, but I’m governed by my emotions and at times I can be a very emotional person.
My first thought regarding this question was to view being balanced as a set of scales. On one side we have White representing all the ‘good’ within me, and on the other side is Black representing all the ‘not so good’. To this end, being balanced would the middle ground between black and white – the grey so to speak and in this regard, I have no balance.
In more ways than one, my scales tip dramatically towards white and rarely (sadly, I can’t say never) do they tip towards the inky blackness at the opposite end of the spectrum. Finding my grey can be impossible because I’m very staunch when it comes to doing the right thing. I could give you lots of examples, however, I’ll just pick one – following road rules.
I studied the book that governs what you can and can’t do on the road, I demonstrated my capability of handling a mechanically driven conglomeration of metal and rubber through, down, and across the myriad of twisting, turning pathways that allow us to readily get from A to B, and I was proud to receive my piece of paper that said I was allowed to do just that – drive a car on the road.
Why on earth would I then jeopardise this privilege by disobeying the rules created to control the ‘how’ of being permitted to do so? Well, I don’t. I follow the rules and regulations and I do so without complaint.
Recently our state government announced it was installing additional point-to-point speed cameras*, and listening to the chatter on the radio regarding this ‘blatant revenue raising tactic’, I don’t get it.
People are actually calling in whining about getting a speeding ticket, grumbling about how unfair this is, moaning about how terrible our government is. And I don’t get it.
Speeding accounts for too many deaths on our roads and if fining drivers for not obeying the rules is what it takes to modify this unsafe behaviour, I’m all for it and I do get it.
My philosophy – and I say this repeatedly to anyone who’ll listen:
If you’re not speeding, you’ve got nothing to worry about.
I don’t speed. To be perfectly honest, I don’t want to break the rules. Therefore, I leave with ample time to arrive where I need to be. Yes sometimes I arrive painfully early, but for me, that’s better than arriving one minute late.
– ⋅ o ♥ o ⋅ –
This is just one example of my one-sidedness, my attitude that tips the scales. There are many more, but essentially what it all boils down to is that I hate doing the wrong thing, I hate getting into trouble and thinking that I’ve done wrong by someone.
“Little Miss Goody Two Shoes” I used to get called at school and although I know that name calling wasn’t done in jest, it never wavered my resolve to be a good person.
And if being a good person makes me unbalanced – I’m ok with that.
In response to the Sandbox Writing Challenge – Exercise No 2 – Balance