Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Balance versus Passion - and Compassion

I confess to being fascinated with the modern interest in balance. Balance is the current cure for all ills: everything not only in moderation, but kept within limits by equal and oppositie pressure.

It reminds me of my response to labels that proudly proclaim "all natural." So is ragweed. So are mosquitos. So is the plague.

Recently, I left a comment on a Fast Company blog that suggested that balance is not the answer to BS or bad behaviour: focus on values is better than focus on balance as a value. Someone else wrote back, incensed. She did not understand my insistence that the answer to bad behaviour is to focus on positive outcomes. She is one of a world of people who spend their time resisting problems.

If your model of the world involves resisting problems, then balance is an ideal: the whole idea of balance is that of equal and opposite forces. Of course, this means that If your ideal is balance, you need all the bad stuff to continue so that there is something against which you can balance your good stuff.

Stephanie at idealawg (http://westallen.typepad.com/idealawg) posted a link today that proclaims higher values than balance. It reminds us that when we focus on the good stuff, the bad stuff often falls away. We don't end up with balance - we end up with progress. The link takes you to a clip of Tim Sanders, of Love is the Killer App fame. You'll find it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MFEbWXwhQmU

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