Slices of Life: When life makes other plans, find harmony

Balance is two factors, working in tandem. The best balance can do is balance. Harmony is more. It takes us beyond balance to stability. Harmony is quite literally music to our ears.

Jill Pertler
Jill Pertler

A few weeks ago I started writing about a series of seven words that I thought would help each of us on our paths forward, whatever direction that might be. Seven words that when embraced could help us all in times of joy as well as times of trouble. Seven words to set us up for the future.

It was perfection.

And then, as quickly as I had the great seven word idea, my laptop crashed. I lost two of those perfect columns about the seven perfect words. At first it felt like a punch in the gut, but then as time marched on, I realized I was OK with not publishing the lost columns. OK? Heck, I was more than OK.

That’s because I realized the first seven words weren’t the right ones.

As the days unfolded, my perspective on the seven words changed, and I realized that is how life goes. We are always unfolding. Always changing. Forever evolving into the new me that we want to be. And that’s exactly how it should be. Just as soon as we believe we have it figured out, our seven words change.



Isn’t that cool? I’d hate to ever be done figuring things out. Although it is tempting sometimes, especially on those days when your laptop crashes. (Thank goodness that isn’t often.)
I still love words and realizing there aren't seven magic ones only opens the door for more exploration. I’ll start now.

Originally, I planned to write about balance. It’s a great word. Balance is a duality that runs throughout nature, throughout life. It provides peace and stability. Yin and yang. Balance is equality between the two. What could be better?

I wasn’t sure, but then the cosmos put the idea of harmony in my path. If balance between two things is good, harmony might be even better.

Balance tethers us to two. Harmony opens up the equation. It gives us alternatives. A cord of three strands is stronger than one of two, just like three part harmony, when well done, often outdoes the two-part version.

A set of two points can easily topple. Three points are steady and stable.

Three is a strength seen throughout nature and the world. Good things come in threes. Past, present and future sums up time better than now and then. We say the ABC’s, not the AB’s. There are three primary colors: red, yellow and blue, from which all other hues are created.

The Earth is the third planet from the sun. There are three Olympic medals: bronze, silver and gold. First, middle and last. Small, medium and large. Solid, liquid and gas. Land, sea and air. Breakfast, lunch and dinner (snacks would only add to the harmony.)


Me, myself and I. Rock, paper, scissors. Mind, body and spirit. The three amigos, musketeers, stooges, Charlie’s Angels, blind mice, little pigs, French hens, Goldilocks’ bears.

Balance is two factors, working in tandem. The best balance can do is balance. Harmony is more. It takes us beyond balance to stability. Harmony is quite literally music to our ears.

Balance is working things out between two people. Harmony is a deeper cooperation between the group. Balance exists between you and me. Harmony makes us all part of the whole.

Balance in life is good; it is sought after. Harmony makes balance complete. And, like a braided cord, harmony makes us all stronger.

When you focus on just the melody, that is all you hear. When you expand your focus to include multiple notes and chords, you achieve a greater perspective — one that goes beyond the note you are playing and reaches beyond you to the innate harmony that exists in our world, in nature. The harmony that exists between us all.

And that is music to the ears.

Jill Pertler is an award-winning syndicated columnist, published playwright and author. Don’t miss a slice; follow the Slices of Life page on Facebook.

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