The middle way

Most things that matters are long-term efforts. And most long-term things are made of a multitude of decisions. The constant effort of making the right decision is a big part of doing something with care, of finding success. The truth is, most of the time, out of the several choices we have at our disposal, none of them is the perfect one. The middle way exists in our collective mind ; we can all see where it is supposed to be, but it doesn’t exist in real life. No single decision is the perfectly balanced one.

Think about two people flirting with each other : we could sort the myriad of options available to each of them in two groups : giving space and interacting more. They can either propose to see each other more often, offer to do more activities together, exchange gifts, or they can wait until they see each other in class on Monday, keep their existing relationships on top of their priority list, let the other person take the next step. The thing is, none of these choices is the right one. It can’t be. If one of them was the perfect choice, they could just do it again and again, and be right every single time.

What happens instead is we keep making messy choices, slight mistakes, because we didn’t have the full picture at the time we made the decision, or because there was no other option. But we can correct what we did with the next decision we make. And, over time, the sum of all our decisions draws a line, a certain direction.

When we zoom in, analyze it, the beautiful line is actually made up of an infinity of zigzags.

But we know it because we can feel it : the line is the middle way. It is the perfect decision.

Any effort that brings tension puts us in a place where we have to be constantly switching between several possibilities. The mistake is to watch too closely this very decision, and to believe there is a potentially perfect outcome. Instead, look at the line.

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