In this modern world many people live a life of extremes. There are shows about extremes such as hoarders, sister wives and taboo. We have extreme right wing followers such as the tea party and extreme left wing followers. We have politicians who try to inject their christian ideals on a whole nation. The middle path may be a religious concept from ancient Buddhist philosophy yet it makes the most sense in a world that desperately needs some balance.
Too much of anything is bad. If a person eat too much that person may become overweight or develop diabetes or heart problems. While many religions contain wisdom and knowledge it is best to not take religion to an extreme. The beauty of the simple Buddhist concept of the middle path is that it can be applied to anyone without being religious in nature. Balance in life is also a way of maintaining good mental and psychical health.
“For both excessive and insufficient exercise destroy one’s strength, and both eating and drinking too much or too little destroy health, whereas the right quantity produces, increases or preserves it. So it is the same with temperance, courage and the other virtues… This much then, is clear: in all our conduct it is the mean that is to be commended.”
Aristotle (Virtue Science, 2012)
Even an ancient philosopher realized that there must be a balance. Aristotle was not a Buddhist but he realized the importance of a balance in life. In 2012 this concept is even more important when we live in a world of chaos. There are people starving in third world countries while others dine on caviar in the wealthy areas. This is not sustainable or healthy for a society. One might argue it has always been this way but it doesn’t have to be.
“T he middle path is the way to wisdom.”
Mevlana Rumi (Virtue Science,2012)
If a person lives a life of extremes that person will only have very limited knowledge. If a person tries to find a balance or a middle way than he or she will have a vast amount of knowledge. Seeking balance means searching through these extremes, looking for the answers and finding out what is best in life. A person may not be able to live a life 100% balanced but a balance that is comfortable for them.
To be balanced means to be at peace or at rest. It is through this balance a person will find that peace. When a person’s equilibrium is off that person will feel unsteady but when it is working right that person will feel steady. It is the same with a person’s life and on a grander scale; society. The more people who are out of balance in this society the more problems we encounter.
In conclusion; the only way to fix the society is for people to find a balance in their lives. If a more balanced society is created there will not so many extremes. While some extremes may be needed others like poverty and starvation are not. The only humane way of creating a better society overall is to find a middle path.
Virtue Science.(2012).The Middle Path. retrieved March 21, 2012 from http://www.virtuescience.com/middle-path.html