A great read from the book “Perseverance” by Margaret Wheatley
We live in a world of extremes and polarities. People take positions at the far edge of an issue, and then scream across the distance they created. Others, numbed by every-day experience, seek out extremes in sports and personal challenges.
Living at the extreme consumes enormous resources. We spend energy on justifying our position, on attacking our enemy, on defending our ground, on protecting our position. Or in the case of extreme sports, we devote huge amounts of time and resources to training and preparing for the ultimate challenge.
Somewhere in all the furor and drama, we’ve lost sight of the middle. Yet it’s in the middle where the possibilities reside. Some call the middle “compromise” or “consensus”—terms which have come to mean failure, mediocrity and loss. We don’t remember meeting in the middle as anything but negative.
Perhaps because we’re so addicted to strong emotions and loud noises to motivate us, we no longer seek the quiet space of center. But all great spiritual traditions speak of moderation, harmony, balance—the middle way.
One way to rediscover middle is to notice your everyday behaviors. Notice where you’re positioned on an issue important to you. Are you sitting out on one side, justifying your behavior, assuming you’re right and others are wrong? Or are you open to the possibility that you can’t see very well from where you’re sitting, that you don’t know all the facts in the case?
Humility and curiosity is what shifts us to center. Just by being curious, we move toward the middle ground, with its fertile promise of new ideas and new relationships.