Wednesday, December 2, 2020

The Golden Mean

We all wish that others should admire us,hold us in high esteem.An upright, likable image is conducive to success and happiness too.But which are the attributes that can help us attain such an image?A clear cut picture in our minds of the things to be done and those to be avoided will surely make things easier.

Great thinkers and philosophers of many religions have advocated the adoption of a golden mean to lead a happy and successful life.In other words avoiding extremes of any kind is the best way to be.

At every step in life we are required to pick options.Other than the common place choices there are some issues which require well thought out decisions.These decisions determine  our personality as well as the course of our lives.

Take the question of Achievement,of chasing tall targets, surpassing everybody on the radar.Work yourself to the bone,shelve rest,obviate all kinds of  diversions and you may one day find that you are so alone at the pinnacle.All that labor has not given you the desired results.

On the other hand,take life easy,go with the flow,avoid challenging tasks and you will one day realize that you have stagnated and not made enough use of your talents and abilities.

Swimming with the tide is easy and comfortable while pushing against the current can be exhausting.But what of the euphoria you feel when you have conquered an opposing force and reached your desired destination?

Making such choices should follow a deep analysis of one's needs and abilities,plus the tendency to avoid extremes.

Take the case of Amiability.Everybody wants to be loved and accepted by others. Close,loving relationships make life livable.In order to sustain them we sometimes give in to unreasonable demands or allow others to encroach upon our territory.But if we make it a habit to give in in order to be liked and accepted,we could end up being trodden all over.  

On the other hand if we religiously nullify others'attempts to dominate us we are likely to be labeled as unfriendly and uncooperative.

Dwelling at any end of the spectrum will besmirch our personality.The golden mean is the best choice.

Forgiveness is another tendency which requires careful thought.Whenever we are deceived by any one a natural reaction is to give tit for tat or plan revenge.But as Gautam Buddha said:When you hold a burning coal in your hand to throw it on someone it is you who get hurt.

Fine,but whom,how often,and for which kind of wrong to forgive?This is a nebulous zone.Going for full throttle vengeance makes us a negative person while forgiving unthinkingly can attract further invasions.Neither extreme is desirable.

Courage is another quality which should not be taken to the extreme.Too much of it will make us foolhardy and too little shall label us as being a coward.

Related to this is the matter of  Self-confidence,neither extreme of which is desirable.

Come to think of it:an extreme of any kind is counter-productive.A sense of balance in our endeavors as well as our reactions will give best results.