What is the opposite of balance? Would it be shaky, shaken, or just plain unbalanced? Whatever the right word choice is, each of these words has a negative connotation. It seems that balance is desirable, and imbalance is not.

Remember the young Russian Olympian ice-skater who lost her balance, subsequently lost her medal, and lost the care of her coaches. It was made all the more uncomfortable by the fact that the world bore witness to it in real time. Is this type of pressure too intense? Is this kind of spotlight too dangerous? top heavy? too much? unbalanced?

Where is she now? How is she now? Were we only shown one side of the story? If so, what about the rest of it? Do we need to balance it out and reconcile it? Or is it really that important anymore in the greater scheme of things – in the light of what has happened in the world since then?

How do we reconcile this young athlete’s story with the plight of the inhabitants of Mariupol and elsewhere in Ukraine? Although the world is watching, do all the Ukrainians know that they are in the spotlight? Without connectivity or electricity, how can they believe that the world is talking about them? They are only in receipt of one side of the story, and that is the bombs and the missiles, the hunger, and the war crimes. It’s an unfair equation. Surely, there needs to be a balance to every equation?

How do we play when the pitch is no longer level? How do we grow when the ground beneath us is crumbling? How do we thrive if the pressure is overwhelming? How do we survive if we don’t see anyone helping us? How do we decide to live if all we see is death?

The spotlight often misses those without connection, knowledge, nurture, or hope. The spotlight often misses those out of kilter, out of touch, and out of favor with life. Yet the spotlight can also burn those who cannot handle its focus.

Maybe, this is what our radar is for? A radar for ourselves and for others. Sometimes, the effort might be one sided, one directional – the ask for help or the offer of help. We may give more than we receive, or we may receive more than we can give. Is this not a positive thing however – this “imbalance?” Is this “imbalance” not a worthy thing? a vital thing? a must to believe in?

Imbalance is not a negative thing all the time. Perhaps it is the essence of hope.

I Am Here