We were driving to our weekly meeting and I was sharing my experience of few days ago. On my way to airport, early morning I had seen lot of people taking a walk and jog. I think people are increasingly becoming health conscious. But interrupting me, my friend told about his 17-year-old neighbour who committed suicide. It was shocking. What is happening?
We decided to propose this paradox for the meeting. While people seem to be becoming more conscious about their physical health, is their mental ability to handle tougher situation declining? As we started discussion more incidences of people unable to handle their tensions came up.
“Things are well when they move together and not in isolation.” “This is one of the 12 principles of valid actions.”
By now we were quite conversant with Principles of valid actions. The laws of behaviour breaking which will result in suffering within us and around us.
Does it mean that while physical fitness is important and is seemingly getting addressed, mental health which is also equally important is getting a pass? One without the other is not much useful.
As we debated, more and more clarity emerged. In our body, our life and in the world around, we can observe that things relate to each other. There is a certain relationship and a proportion.
“In our body there are different parts and they work in beautiful co-ordination with each other. We need to ensure balance among them.”
I realised that we are disturbing the balance when to become slim we starve or to satisfy the taste we overeat. We are disturbing the balance when to earn more money we overwork our body or living a cosy life in an air-conditioned house end up with lack of exercise, fresh air and sunlight that is required.
“We also require balance development of our mental, physical, and emotional aspects.”
So, one who studies all the times, may get good marks, get strong intellectually, but may not have physical or social abilities. The other way around, one who spends all the time playing or with friends may get strong in sports and social skills but will not be able to handle intellectual challenges. Taking it further, a mother caring a lot for the children and family remaining fully immersed, unconnected with the world. Eventually she may find a big gap between her ability to grasp the world.
“While there are various aspects to be balanced within the life of an individual, it is also important to maintain balance in relationship with people around us.”
Our parents, spouse, children and other family members. While we receive lot of joy and support from them, there is a need to balance with what we do for them. How much we care for them and how much we attend to their feelings. A father has a role of grooming the children and as a husband or wife one has a role in appreciating feelings of others in the family. A son or daughter has a role of balancing the relationship with spouse and children on one hand and parents on the other.
“Finally, balancing is required not only with ‘me’ and ‘mine’, it is also required with the role in society.”
We notice a lot of ‘minding my own business attitude around. Their relationship with the world is only about what they receive from the world. They have no time, inclination or concern for contributing to the society. As we had seen in one of our earlier meeting if there is only ‘receiving’ and no ‘giving’ it will result into mental illness.
Oh! That is what we started with. Physical wellness and mental wellness. Both need to be developed together.
But even within that balance is to be maintained between what one does for self and what one does for others. For a person total dedication to others at the cost of his own health and family is not desirable and at the same total self-absorption at the cost of role with others is also equally undesirable.
With these discussions, I had a humbling realization that we are what we are, because of multiple factors and it is important to maintain the balance between them. A great revelation in my journey to become better human being.