Musings while Walking: Balance

On today’s walk, my mind wandered to philosophical musings. What is the nature of the world and where do humans fit into it? How has history brought us to where we are, and what is waiting for us in the future?

Please be assured that I have no inflated opinions of the importance or uniqueness of my insight. None of this is new at all. These are just the thoughts I had while I was out walking today.

Let me first be clear about my baseline for such things. I believe fully and completely and uncompromisingly in an intelligent Creator. One of the beauties of creation is the way everything fits together like a great cosmic puzzle. Each piece of the puzzle is absolutely essential to the completion of the picture, including you and me. “Grow where you are planted” may be a cliché, but it is also a truth of living. It does happen at times that a person is in the wrong place. That does not make their role less important; it merely means that they have to change their environment until they find where they belong.

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That said, what is the fundamental nature of Nature? Balance. Balance is the most basic tenet of creation. In science it is said that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. It is also considered a scientific law that the amount of matter and energy in the universe is a constant. Where matter is destroyed, energy is released. Where energy is expended, elements change and rearrange to form new matter. In an atom, the positively charged nucleus attracts exactly the correct number of negatively charged electrons.Voila! The pieces of the puzzle fall into place.  Balance.

Gardening is a great example of this. Plants have certain requirements to grow—the right amount of sun, the right amount of water, the correct soil. If we pick plants for our gardens appropriately, they will thrive. If we try to grow things that don’t belong in our habitat, we can create conditions to make them grow, but as soon we turn our backs they will founder. Walter Reeves, the Georgia Gardener, says look in nature and see what is growing and then plant the domestic equivalent. Good advice.

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My son has taught me the same thing about fitness. Calories in and calories out. If you eat more than you use, you will store the extra as fat. If you use more than you eat, the extra fat will be consumed as fuel. The key is to get to the point where the two are balanced within the lifestyle that you choose for yourself.

The world is in a big mess. Terrorists are doing what they do best—creating terror—in all corners of the globe. Closer to home, we are seeing violence directed, not at the guilty, but at the innocent, forcing those who are merely being who they are, living as their pieces of the puzzle, to pay the price for those who actually deserve to be punished. This is human society–the great global society that represents the interactions of all people everywhere regardless of our different customs or beliefs—out of balance.

A study of history shows us that this is not the first time humanity has struggled with instability. Many times in the past, the worst elements have wreaked havoc with the best. What has happened? How have we not been utterly wiped off the face of the earth? Balance. It will take time, but society will right itself. Who will be in control when that time comes? It is impossible to say. But be assured that balance will be restored. Also be assured that it will falter again.

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For those who hope for a perfect world, I must state my belief that creation is already perfect. The cycles may be hard for us, but the ability of nature to right itself represents a perfectly balanced system. Whatever we do and however we congratulate ourselves on our supremacy, all of that is an illusion. Balance will always win out.

I find that very comforting indeed.

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