Balancing Acts


I was on my way to work with a mind that was half awake and half in bed the other morning, when a comment from one reader popped in my head. Let me start off by explaining that I have been surprised by the number of people that write to me regularly with their comments on specific articles and those that share their thoughts on general matters.

I must admit, it is pleasant to exchange thoughts, ideas and views on so many different topics with strangers that slowly end up being familiar. So, that morning I was thinking about what one of them had said in regards to the general feel of this column and funny enough it coincided with last week’s article. If you recall, I had mentioned that a few comments had surfaced regarding the direction of most of the topics that are discussed.

Though I understand the necessity of also raising issues on which we excel I think it is important to raise those on which we can excel even more- Right? First of all, there are undeniable truths about this beautiful country that one cannot get tired of mentioning. Whether we talk about the breathtaking landscapes, mouthwatering dishes, the mesmerizing dances and traditional outfits there is always more to discover.

That being said and you may correct me if I am wrong, I would like to think that the tourism books, shows and travel agencies are there for that exact reason. Won’t it feel as though we will continuously trip ourselves by denying some of the flagrant issues if we only focus on everything that goes right? Some would argue that encouragement, recognition and acknowledgment go a long way for an individual, let alone a group, in terms of growth. Others will point out that recognizing a problem is the first step to success and as an example we can cite dependence problems such as drugs or alcoholism. It’s like what Herb Kelleher said “Everybody in Texas would tell me that they thought I was nuts trying to start Southwest Airlines. So sometimes you need a little courage, too, just to buck popular opinion”.

Even though these are quite the extreme examples for this purpose, I would like to explore here our capacity to find a balanced view of ourselves, meaning all that goes wrong and all that is right. Wouldn’t you say that everything cannot be perfect? And following this same logic, wouldn’t you say that our focus should be on what we can improve all the while acknowledging and highlighting our successes.

But in order to improve it seems only fair to identify first the space for improvement in order to ensure that it can in fact get better. In this same manner, I also understand that each individual is entitled to their opinions and perspectives. However, I am also convinced that there are certain things that we can all commonly agree no matter the perspective or angle we see matters from. For example, fixing pot holes on the road should not be open to discussion given the fact that they are destructive point blank.

Following the same logic there are things that we can agree are unjust or just, fair or unfair. Think about it though, were we not identifying these different potholes (metaphorically speaking), we would not be able to fix them in order to ride smoothly. Therefore, I reiterate my initial concern regarding our ability to question, point out but mostly admit all the while acknowledging our right-doings. All of that being said, sometimes it is disconcerting to always have these flaws pointed out but I am convinced that one only does it out of love. Do you think that a genuine need to be better can spring out of spite? Doesn’t that sound more of like an oxymoron? Why would a boss, a mother or a teacher scold a child if not to see that child be better in the future? I would like to hear your thoughts on that one last time and come back with a more joyful topic next week.


By Christine Yohannes
Christine Yohannes writes about social change, performs at public events and conducts poetry workshops in schools. She has established a monthly event entitled

Published on Feb 07,2017 [ Vol 17 ,No 875]



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