Balance is often misinterpreted in various contexts, especially when it is confused for neutrality and inaction.
There are at least two types of balance, static balance, which is when things are balanced but not changing, and dynamic balance, which allows for change.
Balance can be stable, meaning that even if it is disturbed, it will eventually return to being balanced. If it is unstable, it will not naturally return to how it was.
There is an erroneous opinion that people who do not have clearly left or right wing opinions or people who consider themselves centrists, do not have strong opinions on political issues and that they need to take a side for arbitrary reasons. This ideology generally sees centrists as people who are afraid of taking sides and try to be neutral, and who are indecisive and afraid of taking action. They are seen as inefficient, inactive, and weak.
There are two issues with this, the first being that this ideology considers only the two extremes of the standard political spectrum as viable options. Even if they consider politics beyond just left and right to include a political, economic, totalitarianism and freedom, and other variables, they still see anyone who isn’t clearly on one team’s side to be inefficient. This is both a form of extremism and conformism, since it irrationally thinks that extremes are more efficient and are worth any drawbacks due to being extreme, and it blindly follows the ideas of others.
Extremism is popular among teenagers with a Romantic view of life, since it allows them to forsake the more difficult option of balance and instead tell themselves that much like the great revolutions of history, that they are in extreme situations that can only be solved with extreme measures. They tell themselves that any collateral damage caused by these extreme actions are worth it because the goal of these actions is worth such sacrifices, and they convince themselves that in fact the sacrifices are small. These sacrifices are actually possibly just not their problem, so they avoid thinking about the people that actually get hurt from extremism.
Dictators offer their people an extreme solution to problems they have, and especially if the people are desperate and suffering, they allow the dictator to take power and fix their problems through extreme changes. Many people die as a result of dictators coming to power, and the deaths are often hidden from the people or justified as necessary sacrifices. Often though the people sacrifice their freedom for the immediate changes they wanted. Once the dictator is in power and has justified their extreme methods, they have no opposition and can do whatever they like, at which point the people may have realised their mistake, however it might be too late to fix it.
The assumption that someone has to have clearly left or right or otherwise views, or that they have to belong to a specific and powerful political party is reinforced by the current political systems in the United States and other countries. Most other parties are too small to win and are often thought of as jokes. It is commonly assumed that small parties have no chance to win, so if you vote for them you are throwing away your vote.
The problem with this idea, even if it is sometimes true, is that it is a self fulfilling prophecy. By telling someone not to vote for a small party because it cannot win, you are making sure that fewer people vote for that party. If no one said such silly things, the people who were going to vote for the small party might have added up to enough to make the party’s total votes enough to be competitive. If this trend continued then over time the small party might become a big party. As it stands however, people do not realise that they are reinforcing the big parties staying big and the small parties staying small by dissuading people from “wasting” their vote on a party that they think will never win. This is a very shallow way of thinking as it doesn’t realise that they are being irresponsible by not letting people vote as they want to, and maintaining the current broken system, all for the cynical idea that they are being pragmatic.
Another mistake people make is thinking that since the large political groups are official and have clear views, that they are better than actually thinking for yourself. This is a completely illogical form of conformism that just views others as wrong because they do not blindly follow like they do. Political views should not be taken blindly as a package because there is no assurance that an entirely left or entirely right wing set of ideals make sense. Left and right ideologies are not some god-given or scientifically proven way to run a country, they are arbitrary. Every problem has it’s own context and multiple ways to solve it, so the most fitting solution that has the best outcome and the least damage must be found, regardless of whether it is left or right wing.
Left and right are not ways of life, or at least they should not be. It doesn’t make any sense to take an extreme and blindly accept all of it. Doing so will cause you issues when a different approach is needed for something. This applies even if it is not political, for example the idea that you should always do things to the best of your ability, even if it takes a long time. This idea is fine until you are constrained by time, in which case taking too long might make all your work useless because it cannot be accepted late. Another extreme life philosophy is the idea that one should arrive on time or not arrive at all. This makes less sense than the previous example because while it does promote being on time, the idea of not doing something because you’re late makes no sense since being late is often acceptable or at least better than not going at all. If your child is performing and wants you to be there to see it, it is always better to be late than to not go. A child most likely does not care if the parent would be late, what matters is that they were there to see them perform. Even arriving late for a party and having fun for only five minutes might be better than not seeing those people at all.
Balance itself can be taken to extremes. Someone who naïvely takes balance too literally can become the neutral, inactive centrist that was described earlier. This is static balance, where no extremes are ever considered, where the only ideas and actions taken are those that are purely balanced between the extremes. This form of balance is in fact extremist balance, in a way a self contradictory life style that is better defined as neutral rather than balanced. This is ineffective and illogical, because true balance should be dynamic, it should allow for changes and occasional extremes, when needed. What this means is that balance is a logical conclusion since the extremes are rarely good ideas, and that dynamic balance is good because extremism and static balance are both close minded. Being balanced is being open minded and rational.
One should always be open to various options to take the best one.