The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Saturday, February 11, 2006

And by the way...

Yes, my “balance” model has to make room for the ascetic, the yogi, the committed bachelor, etc.  I’m not saying that you have to be rich, or a bodybuilder, or whatever, to have a valid opinion about the world.  What I AM saying is that the clearest path I know to self-knowledge is to simultaneously seek:
Satisfaction in your career.  Do something you love, love the thing you do, and manage life and finances so that they fit one another. Someone constantly complaining about the amount of money they earn doesn’t fit here.  A schoolteacher content with her tax bracket does.
Physical health and fitness.  Enough energy to work hard all week long, and party on the weekend.  In the top 10% for both in your age group.  If you strip  and looked at yourself in the mirror    and, frankly, would want to boff yourself.  Ahem.  (I mean, honestly—if you wouldn’t want to sleep with you, isn’t it dishonest to be pissed that no-one else does either?)
A healthy committed primary relationship.  Gay, straight, I don’t care. 

     But there are those who wish to embrace voluntary poverty, a celibate life, or to divorce themselves from all bodily concerns.  Or want to Swing, or join group families, or whatever. For them I say that I haven’t the experience to judge the results of such things, although I know of people who seem healthy and live that way. 

And that in the case of the celibate or ascetic, some of the people I respect the best in all the world live such lives.  But such a rude tool as Lifewriting is not intended to measure or guide such lives.  Honestly.
     The balance concept is like a GPS system.  If you assume that deep inside, you want a Soulmate,  success, and fitness, take responsibility for the results you currently have and begin to take actions to correct the problems, you can be very, very confident of building an accurate “reality map” that will help you evolve as a human being. 
But go “off-road” into a realm where the measurements are not so clear, and you’re on your own.  If you develop a life of joy and grace, bless you and please report back to us Vanilla, mundane types.  But if you don’t, if you end up off a cliff, don’t blame the GPS—you are the one who decided to ignore it.  Fair enough?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I don't think achieving balance is vanilla or mundane. Most people are fascinated by those who can do it, and keep it!