I would say that most people in life are somewhere in the middle. The middle of what you ask? The middle of most everything. The middle for the most part feels like a safe place to be. But it really depends on what you're in the middle of.
I'm a middle child and I'll say that I haven't always liked being a middle child. Many times it seems that the eldest child is the one who gets the attention and is the one you're compared to and who you always seem to walk in their shadow. The youngest child is the baby so they get attention just from being the baby and are sometimes spoiled. The middle child? Always having to try and keep up...not being the best and not being the baby. You're not the youngest, not the oldest. You have to fight for attention and that last roll at the supper table! Maybe that's why so many middle children "act out." But to be totally fair, as a middle child I was (almost!) always treated just as well as my siblings. My parents made a supreme effort to treat us with equal love and respect, so for that I am grateful. What they did for the one, they tried to do for the other.
But, again, being in the middle can indeed be a safe place to be. When you are little and you're afraid or upset, right in the middle of the sofa or bed between your parents is the place you feel safest. When you're in the middle of your class grade-wise, you don't have to worry about being tagged as the nerdy genius but you're not known as the dumbest in the class either. Being in the middle of loved ones --- people and friends who care about you most is another "safe middle." There's not much I love more than being slap dab in the middle of a celebration surrounded by family and friends or the comfort that being surrounded by them in times of crisis brings. Sometimes being in the middle when it comes to politics and your convictions feels like a safe place to be. That way, you're never having to explain why it is that you are so passionate about this candidate or that law or this current event. Being in the middle puts you in the "unbiased" class. And, for some crazy reason, I always seem to have a seat in the middle of the plane when I fly. I don't know why, but somehow I always end up choosing a seat in the center of the plane over the wing! Maybe it's because I wanna watch the engines or thinking that being up front in the case of a crash I'd be the first to hit the ground, I don't know, but somehow it happens every time. But, puleeze don't put me in the middle seat between two people! I do not want to be in that middle on a plane. I have to have the aisle or the window seat! But being in the middle can be a place of comfort and safety and the feeling of being sandwiched in is not always a bad thing. You're not a do-nothing freeloader but you're not an extremist either. The middle just feels comfortable.
But there are some places where being in the middle maybe isn't such a great thing. I'm not talking about being in the middle because that's the place you're able to be and the middle is your personal best. Being a part of the middle class is not a bad thing and that is where I've lived all my life. I am suggesting, however, that being stuck in the middle when you need to be or are able to be somewhere else can be debilitating. I have, much to my angst in admitting it, been more than willing at times in my life to be stuck in the middle, to be the status quo, to be good enough when I really could be better if I'd only try harder. Sometimes being stuck in the middle truly depends on where you're stuck as to whether it's good or bad. Stuck in the middle of the ocean with no lifeboat? Terrible! Stuck in the middle of the ocean on a luxury cruise ship? Quite amazing! Being stuck in traffic when you have a Peach Pass in Atlanta? Not too bad. Being stuck in traffic that is not moving at all without a Peach Pass? Not pretty at all. But where I deem being stuck in the middle is totally inappropriate and I'll go as far as to say "unhealthy" is when you fall into that gray area where you have no opinions, no convictions, no ambitions at all and you live your life accordingly, just cruising when you could be soaring. It's a place of no growth, no self-improvement, and a place where you may end up finding yourself in what I call the middle of "nowhere." The middle of nowhere is not a good place to be. It's a place lacking in resources, where there is literally no communication, and where no sustenance for life dwells. This kind of "being in the middle" is like being stuck in quicksand which continues to pull you down until you suffocate and all the life is sucked right out of you.
There is a popular show on network television called The Middle. I first watched this show because I'm a Patricia Heaton fan. I've watched it quite a few times and, if you have as well, you know that the family portrayed in this show is indeed a "middle" type of family. A little crazy, but not too crazy, having their share of struggles but always seeming to come out on top, not seeming too smart at times, but surprising you with their common sense approach to life in the end. I think many of us can relate to this show because it's exactly where we live. Day to day, week to week, year to year trying to keep our heads above water and trying to make better the things that really count -- things like faith, family, friends, and doing for others. There is no middle ground when it comes to faith, family, and friends, only passion. These relationships demand our best every day.
So being in the middle can be good, but being in the middle can also be not so good. Where are you, my friend?
Happy Wednesday! (The absolute, no denying it "middle" of the week)
Posted by CC
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