I can call a spade a spade… There is no such thing as “Perfect Grey”, there is always either a little more black, or a little more white. Every religion has expressed their idea of the same thing, calling it the “unswirving pivot“, “Zhong yong“, or even “The Golden Mean“. All balance is only strived for, and never attained. It is the work and the acceptance of the challenge to create balance that truly establishes its given value. Can striving for balance compensate for ones “nature”? In the story, “The Scorpion and the Frog” (if you don’t know the story, I will try to paraphrase as much as I can. Basically a scorpion is sitting on a riverbank when a frog swims by. The scorpion asks the frog to give him a ride across the river on his back. The frog is pretty hesitant in his decision because he is afraid that the scorpion will sting him. Stating his concerns, the scorpion says that if he were to sting the frog, they would both certainly die. Upon hearing this, the frog agrees to carry the scorpion. Half way across the river the scorpion does in fact sting the frog. Feeling the sting, the frog looks back at the scorpion and asks why he would sting him thus effectively killing them both? To which the scorpion replies “It was in my nature to do so”.) One character stays absolutely true to his character, and one denying apprehension, attempts to create balance. They both end up in the same place. Is this purely an example of no good deed goes unpunished? Or is an explanation of what I like to call “you are what you are?
If you were to meet me for the first time, you would already have a preconceived connotation of who I am. I don’t think that I own a pair of jeans that don’t have a ring on the back left pocket. I wear cowboy boots on the weekends when its nice, and Mucks or pack boots when it’s not. It’s hard to find me without some sort of cap on, I have tattoos, I drive an old four-wheel drive pickup, I have an old dog, and almost always carry (where permitted by law, and sometimes other places too). I like a cold beer, a hot fire and a rare steak. Yep redneck through and through right? Well maybe, or maybe not…Remember you can only judge the cover, if you wrote the book. I, just like you, am multi-faceted. I try to live my life in a way that may seem different or strange to some. I may have been born in 1982 but I think that somehow it could have been 100 years earlier and I would probably still be the person that I am today. I still hold old world standards in a modern age, and stick close to the skills that got us here. A frontiersmen living with the Jetsons, I am an outcast in my own home. Technologically im not too savvy. Yes I can figure out a few network problems, understand the flow of computer programming, and I personally spend way to many hours at work staring at a computer screen, but in all actuality I am not the biggest fan of technological dependency. Everyone in my home has a smart phone or a tablet in front of them when ever they sit down, that just isn’t me. No I don’t own a tinfoil hat or any of that (I’m sure I can make one if the time arises), and that isn’t why I am not a fan. I just think there is something to be said about putting your nose to a book, or your hands on the tools, if you actually really care to learn something. I had 2 teachers in highschool that I can honestly say probably had more influence on this mindset then they probably will ever know. One was of the mindset that “if you are given a problem, and tools… A solution will be found”. The other was of the idea that “you don’t have to know everything, whats important is to know where to get the information if you need it” Talk about complete contradictory life lessons (Yin and yang?) One says learn everything with experience (whether you need to or not), the other says learn nothing, just know where to find the solution (when you need to). I guess that maybe that is balance, but I’m more the first class then the second (the grey is a little more black, than white). Just because I have a beard, guns and tattoos doesn’t make me an operator, any more than the fact that I drive old trucks, with an old dog, and play a guitar makes me a country singer. It is what I put into all things that gives them their value. Labels are what “WE” give in order to easier classify what “WE” are. I guess “WE” are our labels, even if “WE” don’t want them.
Life is pursuit of balance, balance is not giving up on your character to become something that you are not. Balance your being, if you are naturally a giver, don’t stop giving. if you are a worker, don’t stop working. Balance is a life of non-excess, but can there be an excess of being too honest and trustworthy? Has anyone ever be charged with teaching too much, or helping too much? I guess that living in North Idaho I feel a responsibility, to uphold my label, I’m just a “northern redneck”, and we are a different breed (me especially having one parent from Oklahoma, and the other from Connecticut, and being born and raised in northern Idaho) we accept others burdens as our own. I can’t tell you how many times my Father gave up his weekends helping the neighbors fix their cars or plowing their snow. My Mother fed the hungry mouths of public elementary schools, as well as always being my biggest fan, no matter what my pursuit was (she still is).I inherited all of these traits, when I see someone stuck dropping their child off at the day care down the road, you bet your ass I head over and give them a push. On the way to work someone has slid into the ditch… You got it, pull over grab my tow-strap and shovel and try to make the day a little better than it previously was. (word to the wise, as the roads get worse, leave your house earlier. Not only do you not have to rush *Thus ending up in the ditch* , but you have the opportunity to lend a helping hand, you never know when that stuck car is going to be yours… I’ve been there, and watched people drive by, too busy or too late to help.) So what is it, are you the frog or the scorpion? Will you stay true to character, and do as nature wills. Or will you try to achieve balance, potentially losing it all in the process, and still come to the same fate? Will you find the golden mean? I hate to think of a world where you are chastised, even punished for your good deeds. (Even though we have come to that already) I work with a fair amount of people who have very little knowledge of the world outside of WI-FI. Everyday I try to drop a bit of knowledge about the important stuff, being prepared, survival, firearms, it’s a constant struggle to help them realise that there is more to life then what Iphone you have and what level you are on candy crush. When will we come to the realization that, that is our excess? Maybe the idea of true balance is about what we choose to do, not about who we are? No one told Budha to be less Budha-ish, or looked at Laozi and said “hey let’s only do the Tao thing in moderation alright?” You HAVE to be true to yourself, and you HAVE to find a balance in your actions. We all are just hoping that maybe, someday, we can be something or someone who is remembered not only because of what we are, but because of what we do. If you are not willing to deal with the sting, in order to share the gifts you possess, and who you actually are.. Well then, Maybe I’m just not like you