In Tension Lies The Balance

A Framework To Analyze Balance In Life

Abhishek Kothari

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Aaron Burson on Unsplash

You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life — Steve Jobs

Balance eludes us all. That’s because balance arises from the tension between opposing forces. We have to experience the extremes to crave balance just like we crave for sunlight after a dark night. We cannot understand and appreciate balance without undergoing a mental tug of war between two opposing ideas. The classic struggles between conservatism and liberalism, socialism and capitalism, excess freedom and restrictions on freedom are all needed to truly understand and achieve balance. This story outlines the learnings from my own personal struggles to achieve balance. Suffice it to say, I have come to believe balance lies in tension.

I have often been asked: Is India capitalist or socialist? The reality is that it is a mixed economy. It was predominantly socialist but it changed its course mid-way after independence. As soon as the country received its’ independence from British rule, it declared its’ politics to be ‘non-aligned’ with the cold war superpowers i.e. to either the erstwhile USSR or to the US. However, its policies were markedly socialist with a heavy influence of government on all sectors of the economy. India began its experimentation with liberalizing (privatizing) parts of its economy in 1991. It realized the waning influence of the former USSR and changed course to being more of a capitalist economy. Privatization gained steam betweeen 1997–2011. Today, the large banks are still state owned but private banks have scaled up to match the public sector.

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Abhishek Kothari

Futurist@The Intersection of Finance, Tech & Humanity. Stories of a Global Language: “Money”. Contributor @ Startup Grind, HackerNoon, HBR