Saturday, October 6, 2012

Looking for balance in the Age of Extremism

I'm having a really difficult time finding my place in this world, I admit it. It seems at every turn I'm hemmed in by the extremes.

-You can't be a liberal Christian, or even spiritual but not religious; it's either extreme fundamentalist Christianity or Atheism.
-You can't be a political moderate. You either have to be a right-wing tea-bag, nut job, or a pinko commie socialist.
-You can't be a mostly vegetarian who enjoys meat once in a great while; you have to be a vegan.
-You can't be middle class anymore; you're either poor and living off the government or you're a millionaire (or on the extreme fringe as a billionaire).
-You can't be for reasonable gun control laws; you're either with the NRA or you want to take away the right of every citizen to own any gun.
-You can't enjoy a glass or two of wine every evening; you're either a teatotaler or you're an alcoholic.
-You can't have a healthy, shapely body; you're either obese or you're a diet fanatic with washboard abs who spends every spare hour you have in the gym.

I think you get what I mean. It's hard finding your balance in a world that seems to be bent towards the extremes in life. Something can't just be good, it has to be excellent. I remember the day when a C average was just that, the average, and to graduate with a C average was no disgrace. As and even Bs were the exception and only the highly exceptional (the egg brains), graduated with better than a 3.5 gpa. So my question is, if everyone is suddenly outstanding, how are they standing out?

Balance. Harmony. Moderation. Those seem to be dirty words in our society, yet it seems that until we can make our way back to these concepts, we're going to continue to struggle with the polarization that invades every aspect of our lives and relationships. Even our poor planet has been subject to our extremes, and now struggles to bring her ecosystem back into balance so that she can survive. Hopefully that won't mean that she has to shed some of her creatures in order to do that--namely human beings. Or perhaps, if we don't get our shit together, and allow the extremists to continue to shape our dialogue, policy, and spirituality, we just might do the job for her. I really hope it won't come to that.


  1. Excellent entry, Lynette. I think part of the problem is (y)our geographic location. It's not so polarized on the west coast and perhaps other areas of the country where tolerance is encouraged. But you're obviously in this place at this time in order to learn the dance of balance. Once it's digested and is part of you, you'll go to the next lesson. None of this is news to you, I know :)

  2. A very well written and thought provoking article, Lynette. We need that balance which allows us to be individual and free to adapt xx

  3. I agree wholeheartedly. I speak the same language. Moderation is an extreme fad, and so is everything if you let it. The truth will set you free.