There are three kinds of balances.
One that Sutta Nipata speaks of below, can be called equanimity.
Develop the mind of equilibrium. You will always be getting praise and blame, but do not let either affect the poise of the mind: follow the calmness, the absence of pride.
This kind of balance raises your immunity towards whatever happens around you. Your external circumstances don’t affect your internal conditions. Success doesn’t make you behave recklessly and failure doesn’t depress you. Praise doesn’t go to your head and criticism doesn’t sting your heart. You become almost unflappable.
The other type of balance is the one that a man acquires when he moves on the middle path, when he avoids extremes and follows the golden mean. Then, for example, he is not a coward, nor is he rash; he is courageous. Similarly, between pride and diffidence, he chooses modesty; between miserliness and extravagance, liberality; between depression and buffoonery, good humour; and between belligerence and flattery, friendship.
Then there is the third type of balance which can be inferred from Confucius’ writings. While the two types mentioned above help you balance yourself, the third type helps you balance your relationships and in that sense is a social balance.
While speaking about the elder brother-younger brother relationship, Confucius says that the younger brother should be respectful of the elder brother and the elder brother should be gentle to the younger brother. Note that Confucius is not burdening the younger brother alone; he is making the elder brother also bear responsibility in the relationship by asking him to be gentle.
In a similar vein while speaking of husband-wife relationship; he says that the wife should be obedient to the husband and the husband should be loyal to the wife.
This kind of “social balance” brings justice enter relationships and makes them truly enduring.
When balance of the three kinds outlined above permeates one’s walk, he finds that when he so walks, happiness walks alongside him. It eludes him only when this equilibrium is upset and that too for only as long as he can’t find his center again. When he is balanced like this, he is in tune with the Tao of the universe and open to all possibilities.
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