Through balance, and only balance, will we find an adventure of unity, strength, and weakness. But most importantly, balance allows us to enlighten ourselves and grow to our potential. Exposure to the importance of finding that equilibrium in any situation is essential to living a successful life.
The famous myth of Icarus exemplifies the need of balance: a huge topic that needs to be discussed more — especially with teenagers.
The story of “Icarus” begins with Daedalus, an inventor, and Icarus, his nephew, trapped in a king’s tower. While planning their escape, Daedalus warns Icarus to not fly close to the sun, or the wax binding his wings would melt, and Icarus would plummet to his death. A part of the story many have not heard is that Daedalus also stresses that going too close to the sea with make the wax brittle, and have the same lasting effect. Of course, Icarus wants to keep flying higher, giving him the fate of melted wings, and eventually the plummet of death.
A struggle many teenagers face today is self-confidence. It’s either too high or too low. Sometimes, it’s good to be humble and know your limits, but you cannot put yourself down. Doing so is just as bad as insulting someone else, and needs to be controlled to an extent. This is because if you insult yourself to your liking, you will end up believing that your weaknesses are greater than your strengths, which is not completely true. You should always know where your boundaries are and learn to find a place between those limits to achieve maximum success.
Success is a topic many people are asked about in their teen years too.
“Are you planning to drive? What colleges are you applying to? What do you want to do when you grow up?”
Achieving success is yet another pressure that is put on teenagers of all ages, and it is important to find a place you are comfortable with in order to reach your goals. People know Icarus as the kid who flew too high, but sometimes they forget to think about laying the bar too low. If you go too close to the ocean, your wings will break. If you expect too low of yourself, you cannot achieve everything you’re capable of. You wouldn’t have the satisfaction of working your hardest for something and finally getting it because you’d be aiming for something lower than that.
As humans, we can all learn something from Icarus, whether it’s to follow your aspirations through the prison bars of limitations or something even deeper — questioning what is too much and what is not enough personally.
Expectations: “What do they have to do with balance?”
Everything. What did you expect reading this? Did you think you were going to be reading exactly what you see? Did you think it was going to be better than it is? Or were you amazed at my thoughts? Either way, you came in expecting something, and I’m giving it to you.
When it comes to more serious topics, such as self prediction, people tend to think about the false side of things. Here is where knowing your balance is key.
Let’s apply this to the nature versus nurture debate. In this argument, people are divided over whether the care and raising of their parents versus their separate personality and instinct is what shapes their personnel. To raise a good child, it makes sense that you cannot be a helicopter parent. You cannot follow your child everywhere and control their every second of their life. But, you have to sustain a certain amount of structure for them to thrive until they can do that on their own. If you let your child free, they can and will make mistakes that could have been avoided and may never recover.
Now you ask, “How do I find that balance? What if I just don’t know enough to make big life decisions?” To that, the only answer I can give is you make mistakes. But what good are those mistakes if you don’t learn from them? They are worth nothing.
“Well, Shanzay. Didn’t you just say mistakes should be avoided at a young age?”
The harmful mistakes that children make are ones that cannot be learned from. They are unnecessary mistakes. And here is where balance, yet again, comes into play. Conflicts that arise from mistakes should be dealt with maturely, and if they aren’t, they’re useless. However, if you never make any errors (which usually happens when you aim too low for yourself), you don’t learn anything but to keep going the way you are going. That may not be the right path to success.
People might tell you that you should aim for going to a university with value in its name. Or maybe they tell you to start things early and get a head start. But generally, whether you go down a certain path or not is not someone else’s choice to make. That all depends on you and knowing yourself first. I’m sure you’ve heard this before: Every person is different. And there is a reason that the saying is so common; it’s important. Find your balance, not someone else’s. And that is the hard part.
Obviously, balance is key to whatever one wants to achieve, and it should become a more well-known thought.
Now ask yourself the question: Are you Icarus?