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In life situations, kings, queens, presidents, managers of people, fathers and mothers, and all others in the decision-making process make day-to-day decisions that affect the people under their control. These are our rulers and leaders, in one capacity or another. By definition, there is an expectation that whatever decisions they make are just, equitable, and balanced.

However, throughout history, too many times we have seen numerous examples of ruthless leaders who thirst for power and would do anything to preserve this power. They relish and welcome the many perks and benefits that power affords them. They live in expensive homes in exclusive neighborhoods. Meanwhile, the masses of their people live in squalor, with no proper homes, without potable drinking water, no health care, anemic amenities, lack of educational opportunities, and scarcity of jobs and job skills that are necessary to allow them to earn a proper living. Their main source of employment is engaging in manual labor, working for others who pay them substandard wages. These impoverished people dot the entire world.

The question that arises from this condition is, “Can this be considered fair and equitable?” A fair-minded person would come to the logical conclusion that something is definitely wrong with this situation. One can correctly describe this situation as simply unjust, with no real balance as it relates to this segment of the population. Is this coincidence or just happenstance? This phenomenon lends itself to what can be called an imbalance in societal treatment and perpetual resentment. It eventually leads to uprisings and chaos in the populace.

It is the responsibility of all who are in charge of people to demonstrate the balanced leadership skills required to ensure that all people live in dignity. People should not be deprived of the basic necessities of daily living. They and their children should not go to bed suffering from the want of shelter and food.

In this part of the developed world, most workers fall into two categories: unionized and non-unionized.

The many benefits given to the non-unionized employees are dependent on their performance and that of the company. Their pay increases (including benefits like health care and vacation time) are generally determined by leadership and given to them on an annual basis.

To determine who will get an increase in salary, many companies have a ranking system for employees, ranging from 1 for excellent to 5 for poor (designated for possible termination of employment). Generally, on the scale, about 10 percent of employees are ranked a 1, and about 10 percent are ranked a 5. The rest of the employees (80 percent) receive a ranking of 2 to 4. Most of these employees are ranked 3. Based on this formula, most of the employees get a pay raise reflecting of cost of living. Some lucky employees receive bonuses and promotions based on the company’s performance and maybe on their need.

At the time of pay increases (usually yearly), many employees who are ranked 2, 3, or 4 are very disgruntled because their individual rankings decide their pay increases. The ranking system just described is generally skewed, and most high-performing employees are not satisfied with their ranking or their pay increases. Most employees find this system unequitable and unbalanced, often subjective, and fraught with favoritism.

Unionized workers’ pay increases are dependent on the success of their negotiators. These employees have the option of not signing the company’s offer, and they can elect to go on strike, based on the many conditions outlined in their contract. Some strikes are resolved quickly. On occasion, strikes can go on for a relatively long duration (basically shutting down the company).

All unionized workers generally receive a negotiated wage increase. Their increase is not based on the kind of ranking system outlined above for non-unionized workers. Generally, one can say that because of the conditions negotiated and approved in their contract, these employees consider themselves to be treated more equitably and in a more balanced manner.

There are also many other examples of the use of the word balance. For example, it can be used to describe a person’s emotional state, an opinion, the regulation of a clock or watch, an account balance, an apparatus for weighing, such as two scales with a central pivot, balancing work and family life, the scales of justice, and a meaning in the religious context, to measure one’s good and bad deeds.

“Balance, peace, and joy are the fruit of a successful life. It starts with recognizing your talents and finding ways to serve others by using them.”

– Thomas Kinkade


Balance is written by Mohamid Mobin