As I go through life, certain truths become clear to me. For the longest time I’ve held the belief that the middle way is the best - not too much and not to little, just the right amount to get where I need to go.
So far, I’ve been living this…ideal for most of my life. I was never the best in school, but I challenged myself and did the dirty work when I needed to. Politically I had always believed in the value of liberty, but at the same time a governmental duty to promote good in the country and world. I never said it should be a dog-eat-dog social Darwinist society, and I never said we should all give up our property and decisions making rights to a greater communal authority.
The fact of that matter is that no matter how much persuasion, force, or logic you bring to the table there’s always going to be dissent. Because, the majority of people don’t care to live for an ideal or value. The majority of people just want to live their lives. Have fun, learn, build something of value, and die with a sense of accomplishment. They take the middle ground naturally and without consideration.
And this truth of the middle ground, the somewhere in between, the gray area, what Buddhists call the “Middle Path” has come to me to stand before me so much in life. Every day I’m reminded that it’s an underlying truth.
My father always says, “The leaves who are on the outside of a tree are burned dry by the sun, those on the inside are deprived of sunlight, but those in the middle remain.”
Today’s society is a society of extremes. The ads in the subway every morning are a testament to it. Marlboro proclaims “Maybe never wrote a song, fell in love, found a way, was her own boss, whatever.” You’re either the best, or you’re the worst. Black and white. If you fuck up, oh Lord you fuck up big time. If you drink, you get drunk off your ass.
Why? Probably because like in every song, the tempo is the fastest before it slows down again. This fast paced society won’t last, the world feels like it’s gone insane and will come to an end soon, and people want to make the most of it. I do.
In these past few months, I have thrown caution into the wind more times than I can count. And my oh my, has it paid off. I’ve been with a decent but beautiful girl for a short time, but a great one. I’ve come to a realization in a moment of pure physical, mental, and spiritual agony that takes some a lifetime to discover.
I’ve become more hedonistic, egotistic, self assured,and opinionated. But, strangely enough the amount of pleasure I’ve been getting has actually decreased, despite becoming more of a “I get what I want” type of person I’ve become more detached from myself, more unsure of what I do, and I’ve alienated those close to me because of my beliefs.
That’s why I’m going to remember that the middle path is the best. So far it has brought some amazing people into my life, given me incredible opportunities, health, and love.
Steady self improvement instead of pushing myself to the extreme.
Getting what I need, not seeking what I want. Rather, letting it come and go as it may.
Loving pleasure but not making it the most important thing in the world.
Society views greatness as fame, fortune, and success. But I will no longer struggle with greatness, but become just what it truly is. Being great means kindness, peace, and love. It gives more and more health, opportunities and love as time goes on.
Hell, I still make mistakes, and I’m gonna, but at least I know I’ll be going on the right path: the one of balance, peace, truth. The one that lies not at the bottom of the bridge or at the end of the cliff but through the woods and valleys.