By Maulana Wahiduddin Khan
Nov 06, 2012
Living life is like tightrope walking. Tightrope walking means maintaining your balance between two opposite positions, proceeding very cautiously so that you avoid either of two equally bad situations.
The word ‘tightrope walk’ was initially coined for an act of derring-do entertainment, that is, a tightrope is a tightly stretched wire or rope fixed high above the ground on which someone walks across in order to entertain people. But the spirit of the tightrope walk, that is, maintaining a balance between two opposites, is a great principle in real life.
You like sweet food items but your doctor says that you are diabetic, so you have to avoid sweets. In this case you will try to find a balance between your desire and the doctor’s advice. At home, you experience a disturbing situation, but when you are in your office, you feel that you have to deal with office affairs with a cool mind, so you try to find a balance between two contrary mental states. You are walking on the road, and a scooter driver hits you. Naturally, you become angry and you want to beat him up, but you think that if you turn violent, the police will arrest you and take you to jail, so you try to control your emotions. In your business, you have suffered loss and have fallen into despair, but you think: ‘I have lost the present, and if I give in to despair, I will lose the future also.’ So you seek to balance the way you feel.
There are hundreds of such situations we face in our daily lives. Life is indeed like a tightrope walk. If you lean to one side, you are bound to fall. So save yourself from leaning to one side, and maintain a balance between the two sides. This is the only formula for a safe journey through life.
For example, a student who failed in an examination thinks of killing himself due to deep frustration. Then he remembers the well-known saying: Try, try, try again. He then starts rethinking his future plans, and says, ‘If I have lost the first chance, there is every possibility that I will be able to avail of the second chance.’ He then starts studying with renewed diligence, appears in the second examination and passes with good marks. This student was able to maintain a balance between two opposite choices and was saved.
According to the common dictionary, a tightrope walk is an item of entertainment. But there is another dictionary—the dictionary of wisdom. In this dictionary, tightrope walks means ‘living with wisdom’. A dictionary of words can enhance your vocabulary, but a dictionary of wisdom gives you a chance to achieve success while remaining unaffected by the vicissitudes of life.
Everyone is full of desires, but the world outside of us is full of realities. You have to maintain a wise balance between your personal desires and external realities. This is the real art of life. This is an art which is required by everyone, be he a leader or a common man, a wealthy person or a poor man, an educated or an uneducated person.
On balance, life is the same for all. Almost everyone is destined to face the similar situations, so everyone would be well advised to adopt this very formula of tightrope walking.
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