There’s tranquility in between every two opposites, and both are needed. Good is meaningless if bad didn’t exist. Virtue is empty without vice.
For every two opposites, there’s some healthy balance in between. I call that the tension of opposites.
- Working hard is good, but if not coupled with some leisure, burnout occurs.
- Everyone wants to be happy, but without some suffering, life becomes miserable & meaningless.
- Having a partner that’s similar to you is nice, but having no differences makes a relationship dull.
Nobody knows what the right balance of these opposites is. In fact, the balance is different for every person, time, place, and situation.
Knowing that some tension of opposites must exist, however, should make us a bit more adaptable, flexible, and tolerant.
Principles don’t always work, because in principle, nothing is absolute. Every rule has its exceptions, except this one.