Everyone Desperately Needs It, But No One Has Ever Quite Found it

You hear a lot of people in town talk about “finding just the right balance.” Gardeners are referring to light and shade….chefs to sweet and sour…coaches to offense and defense… Buddhists to Yin and Yang….physicists to centripetal and centrifugal… and if you’re a fine thinker like Edward Albee, you write a fine revelatory play like: ‘A Delicate Balance.’

Finding such balance is a brilliant challenge which many of us keep missing, and even more never understand. However, the person in high government office knows all too well the ecstasy and agony of balancing such enormous power that it can build or break lives and nations.

Most of us in the stands of Life spontaneously react to what we see with either knee-jerk cheers or jeers. But the person in authority is challenged to respond more than simply react, to see beyond the chaos of the moment and envision what comes after. Just ask our Mayor!

This same scenario is being played out by different power-players in places as diverse as the angry streets of Baltimore…the tribal deserts of the Middle East…. the US-Iranian naval standoff in the Straits of Hormuz. It doesn’t take much on either side to dangerously upset whatever delicate balance has been achieved.

I don’t have any access to Mr Emmanuel, Mr Obama, and surely not Mr Putin. But you and I know this much — each one is calibrating and manipulating the powers in theirs hands in order to find “just the right balance” in their favor. The rest of us have to hope they know what they’re doing, so as to achieve their best goals without blowing up the rest of us.

What worries me is the story of the commuter passenger who began to notice the train was speeding up more and more. When the conductor had so satisfactory explanation, the nervous passenger hurried through the cars up to confront the driver. As the train continued to plunge ahead, he stared into the booth and realized there WAS no driver!

I may try this on my next trip.

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