Emotional balance

By Fred Smith

Emotional balance requires that we keep our faith under pressure. When there's no doubt, we don't need faith. Faith points to the possibility, not the probability. Emotional balance is needed under pressure. It takes discipline to avoid panic. I've always been excited by automobile racing and years ago I was permitted to be in the pits at Indianapolis during the 500. I have never seen a race driver hit the wall with his eyes closed and his hands up in the air for he's more intense at that moment than any other. He's going to get that machine off the wall and into the infield with the least amount of damage.

Staying cool is more than just a slang expression. Once while doing some television shows I was visiting with Craig Morton and "Mean Joe" Green during a break in the filming. I asked Craig what it took to be a professional quarterback and he said, "One thing is the ability to stay cool in the pocket." "Mean Joe" Green spoke up and said, "He doesn't mean taking a nap with me coming at him. He means stay cool."

Maintaining our sense of humor is important in our balance. It is the oil for the friction of our lives. It is our "oil of gladness," I don't know that I ever saw a list of qualities of a mature person that did not include sense of humor. Humor should be a permeating force, not a separate one. It is like flavoring, not an ingredient that remains separate from the others. Much of the current study of the effect of the mind on the body was encouraged by Norman Cousins' Anatomy Of An Illness in which he found that by using humor he could get two hours sleep, even with arthritis. Of course we're talking about healthy humor where we laugh with others, not at them. When I first visited my friend Jim Smith, shortly after his cancer operation he would take a pillow and clamp it down on his incision so that we could laugh together. "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine" is absolutely true.

Emotional balance keeps the malignancy of our body from spreading to the mind and spirit, the mind and body live so close together that they catch each other's diseases, and perhaps each other's health.