Lessons from the Playground
By: Jotwyla R. Moore
I believe that everyone who grew up with access to a park had the occasion to ride a seesaw. It was one of my favorite “rides” at the park and seemed like such fun teetering up and down with a partner in the afternoon sun. Often when we were bored with going up and down, we would attempt to attain balance. It took stillness and moving your body to the right position to achieve a straight plank, but we did it!
It is interesting to me that a piece of equipment can be used for the purpose of bringing two people together to achieve balance. It seemed so simple back then and might I add, fun; however, sadly the task of balancing seems to be close to impossible to accomplish as an adult.
Balance is sought in companies, countries, and kindred. We all want to see a balanced or stable economy and many workplaces seek to promote work/life balance. Teachers attempt to maintain balance or fairness in the classroom while parents strive to have balance in the home. Yet with laws written, policies produced, and rules distributed we still fail to succeed in this area.
As a nation we tend to make big swings of the pendulum. Regarding fashion, we went from bell bottoms to skinny jeans. Hairstyles went from afros to relaxed to various forms of natural hairstyles. Our political scope takes large swings as well from being conservative to liberal, fundamentalist to anything goes. In the past our country held standards that we went to war to uphold. We have fought to bring freedom and liberties to other nations and now even these principles are no longer esteemed at home.
There used to be a time when negotiation resulting in compromise was the norm. We have left that idea in the past unwilling to cooperate and settle on a solution that works for all. What we are missing is what we claim to seek – balance.
On the seesaw this setup leaves one person sitting on the bottom while the other is suspended in the air. The person suspended in the air is unable to exercise the muscle in their core and legs as their feet never touch the ground leaving them weakened in areas that matter. Meanwhile, the person on the bottom must hold the weight of the person suspended causing them to never experience what it feels like to be on top. Thus, leaving both to only see from one perspective.
Achieving balance makes us equal causing both sides to work together using equal weight to maintain. When we are balanced, we can offer advice from both positions to extract the best information to bring stability, consistency, and strength to every situation.
It would behoove us to learn a lesson from the playground and bring the skills we learned from the seesaw into our corporations, classrooms, and churches to bring about a better future.
Jotwyla is a Certified Life Coach, wife, minister, mother, sister and friend! She uses her life experiences and those she has observed and many lessons learned to provide easy strategies to aid others in doing and being better. To learn more about Jotwyla visit her website.