Place a 6 feet plank of wood on the ground. Stand on one end of the plank and get a friend to stand on the opposite end. Now seesaw. Silly girl, you say? I agree. The plank of wood is the world, the ground is the Universal One. If placed on plain ground the plank maintains its entity but remains in perfect balance rooted to the ground. Similarly if I consider myself as an entity and you as one too but know that we are part of the same source, there need not be a separation. The moment I raise the plank off the ground and place it on the edge of another plank it becomes capable of causing an imbalance and there can only be a limited amount of points on that plank at which there maybe a chance at balance. It is the same with me - the moment I see myself as an entity separate from anyone and anything else I cause an imbalance in life and there is a constant struggle between balance and imbalance which is the premise of duality!
This does not mean that I suffer no pain nor that I do not empathize with the very 'real' pain of those around me. It only means that I am part and parcel of the pain and joy of all around me and that I impact the lives of all around me by my actions, words and thoughts whether it be directed at one, the other, or at many! If I truly believe that I need to be kind, compassionate, giving, forgiving, empathetic towards the destitute or the sick then I must be the same with the wealthy and healthy too! If I am unkind to the simple and friendly with the rich then I am causing confusion in the Universe! Lying or being deceptive maybe the path I follow in some aspects of life while being true, kind and compassionate in most other aspects - this can only cause stress! It is better to stay centered and true to the core and live up to the higher principles in all aspects in life. Only then is true balance possible. Is this possible when the world is so full of deception? I believe it is not only possible it is essential! The reason why we choose to compromise with values and standards is because we are afraid of the backlash or the consequences that will come from the 'outside.' That is we separate ourselves from the Universe! The true consequence of all our actions comes from within - never from without! It comes from how we FEEL first about our own actions and then about how others judge us for that action!
Judging and being judged is a perfect example of imbalance. When we label ourselves and others, when we talk about us and them, we are calling up our sense of separation. Simply because you are doing something different or in a different manner than me does not separate you and me. Duality is a concept. All the possibilities together make up the One. Our ego hates to be judged by others but is quick to judge others itself. I am always right and even if I can see that you have a viewpoint that is different I have to continue being the one in the right - which according to principles of duality means you are wrong. Instead if I am peace and joy and you are peace and joy then you and I have views that spread peace and joy. Does this mean that there is no anger and sadness? Not at all - there is and I empathize with that feeling and share in it with you in peace. I do not add to it!
A group of people are trying to clean up the streets of Bangalore in India. They simply take their brooms, their cleaning agents, paints, masks and go down to the streets and clean them up, paint the walls, repair the pavements, remove the posters from lamp posts and trees, place garbage bins and walk away. They then hire a few people to clean the garbage bins, sweep the roads and simply maintain the small stretch of road. The shopkeepers along the street help them by making sure their customers do not litter and take pride in their small part of the street. These young men and women do not say a word to anyone, they simply keep doing their part. When asked what if you ruffle the feathers of a politician whose poster you have scraped off the wall and their followers act rowdy with you? Their response is a, "We smilingly let them know that this is public property and we all benefit by keeping the place clean and beautiful. We do not fight back - this is not about being against anyone - this is about being in it together. Most times people appreciate it and if they do not we leave that part alone. We simply clean the place around it and leave that spot ugly! The poster stands out like a sore thumb and eventually gets removed." What a great way to make a difference. Not only does the street get cleaned up but it adds peaceful vibes to the environment! That is balance!
We can all do this. Speak to one another from a deeper sense of personal peace. Maintain silence within, no matter how noisy it is around. Stop the clutter in the mind. Stay focused on this moment and wholeheartedly do what is at hand now. Small steps that maintain the balance that already is!