The Law Of Balance In Life

It is also the case with human affairs. Social positions high or

low, occupations spiritual or temporal, work rough or gentle,

education perfect or imperfect, circumstances needy or opulent, each

has its own advantage as well as disadvantage. The higher the

position the graver the responsibilities, the lower the rank the

lighter the obligation. The director of a large bank can never be so

careless as his errand-boy
ho may stop on the street to throw a

stone at a sparrow; nor can the manager of a large plantation have as

good a time on a rainy day as his day-labourers who spend it in

gambling. The accumulation of wealth is always accompanied by its

evils; no Rothschild nor Rockefeller can be happier than a poor


A mother of many children may be troubled by her noisy little ones

and envy her sterile friend, who in turn may complain of her

loneliness; but if they balance what they gain with what they lose,

they will find the both sides are equal. The law of balance strictly

forbids one's monopoly of happiness. It applies its scorpion whip to

anyone who is given to pleasures. Joy in extremity lives next door

to exceeding sorrow. "Where there is much light," says Goethe,

"shadow is deep." Age, withered and disconsolate, lurks under the

skirts of blooming youth. The celebration of birthday is followed by

the commemoration of death. Marriage might be supposed to be the

luckiest event in one's life, but the widow's tears and the orphan's

sufferings also might be its outcome. But for the former the latter

can never be. The death of parents is indeed the unluckiest event in

the son's life, but it may result in the latter's inheritance of an

estate, which is by no means unlucky. The disease of a child may

cause its parents grief, but it is a matter of course that it lessens

the burden of their livelihood. Life has its pleasures, but also its

pains. Death has no pleasure of life, but also none of its pain. So

that if we balance their smiles and tears, life and death are equal.

It is not wise for us, therefore, to commit suicide while the terms

of our life still remain, nor to fear death when there is no way of

avoiding it.

Again, the law of balance does not allow anyone to take the lion's

share of nature's gifts. Beauty in face is accompanied by deformity

in character. Intelligence is often uncombined with virtue. "Fair

girls are destined to be unfortunate," says a Japanese proverb, "and

men of ability to be sickly." "He makes no friend who never makes a

foe." "Honesty is next to idiocy." "Men of genius," says

Longfellow, "are often dull and inert in society; as the blazing

meteor when it descends to earth is only a stone." Honour and shame

go hand in hand. Knowledge and virtue live in poverty, while ill

health and disease are inmates of luxury.

Every misfortune begets some sort of fortune, while every good luck

gives birth to some sort of bad luck. Every prosperity never fails

to sow seeds of adversity, while every fall never fails to bring

about some kind of rise. We must not, then, despair in days of frost

and snow, reminding ourselves of sunshine and flowers that follow

them; nor must we be thoughtless in days of youth and health, keeping

in mind old age and ill health that are in the rear of them. In

brief, all, from crowns and coronets down to rags and begging bowls,

have their own happiness and share heavenly grace alike.