It seems that when you look into the subject, moderation seems to be about diets and eating habits or it’s seen through a religious filter. The latter is fascinating – I read an article by a metaphysician talking about Buddha’s ‘middle way’ and I like the idea that this is the way to enlightenment. I watched a programme once about young British drug addicts who were sent off to a Thai Monastery to detox and it makes sense because the one thing addicts cannot do is live their lives in moderation, so as much as they need the physical surroundings and care in coming off hard drugs, they also need help with their own enlightenment. Having said that they do say with alcohol, once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic and those who are reformed are generally unable to take up a normal life of drinking ‘one or two’ and then leaving it at that.
It seems sad that ‘middle’ has become a dirty word. Think of the negative connotations of ‘middle aged’, ‘middle management’, ‘middle of the road’… And yet I am probably defined by being in the middle in more ways than one. I am ‘middle aged’, I am middle class, I like driving in the middle of the road! I don’t want to be too slow and never reach my destination but equally I don’t want to be too fast and miss the opportunity to smell the roses along the way. Isn’t that just good sense?
I like the expression ‘everything in moderation’ particularly in relation to food because it implies that nothing is off limits and there is no need to deprive yourself, but somehow I also like the expression ‘everything in moderation, including moderation’ because if everyone did everything in moderation, all the time, then there would be no grand romantic gestures, no gut-busting super Sundaes to treat yourself to after a bad day at the office, no dancing ‘til dawn and indeed, no INXS 😉
As a parent, I think it makes sense to try and teach your children to moderate their own behaviour. But at the same time, we would all secretly be thrilled if our children did something amazing to set the world on fire. No one would ever describe Richard Branson as ‘average’, but maybe I’m mixing up the different definitions of ‘middle’, ‘moderate’ and ‘average’ as Branson is surely a moderate man who simply isn’t scared of taking risks? Does it say something about me that I would rather my child grow up to be the next Branson than the next Keith Richards?
Would you prefer your child to live an average life and be moderate in all things, or blaze a trail but potentially burn out?
Linking up Sara’s linky, The Prompt for a discussion on whether everything should always be experienced ‘in moderation’.