Everything in moderation?

One glass a day

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’.



8 thoughts on “Everything in moderation?

  1. I think we all behave moderately in our family in comparison with others, but still able to feel things in extremes.

    I think I watched the same Thai drugs/monks programme as you! It was a while back, but I remember being so stunned by the trailer and how much the addicts were suffering that I had to have a look. Was it the one where they had to drink herbs that made them sick once or twice a day??!?

  2. Detoxing in a Thai monestry was probably the best thing those addicts ever did. Provided they weren’t left to roam free in Thailand afterwards, that wouldn’t have been so great for them with so much temptation on offer..

    As a parent I want nothing more than for my kids to moderate their own behaviour. Some days I feel we’re finally getting there with 5yo, and i’m convinced 2yo will be following suit right away regardless of her age. She copies everything her big sis does, which makes my life very tricky when the 5yo is being a little terror… #ThePrompt

  3. Love this post, it’s so thoughtful and touches on several really important issues. As you know from my post I tend to think of food/drink in relation to this quote, but you are quite right that we moderate lots of other things in our lives too. I’ve written before breaking rules when it comes to ideas and creativity, and I don’t think we should moderate ourselves then. But, it is all about achieving a happy balance in things, isn’t it? Thanks so much for linking to #ThePrompt x

  4. Interesting post. I think I’m quite a moderate person by nature – not a big risk taker. As for what I would want for my kids I guess it depends on what would suit them. I’m very happy in my moderate life but some people need to feel the extremes of existence in order to be happy. I hope my kids won’t be thrill seekers – so far I don’t sense that they are – but only time will tell! #theprompt

  5. Very interesting. I like where you talk about how the middle has gotten a bad name. So true! I feel like I spend a lot of time contemplating, and not liking, middle age now that I’m here. If I think about it though, middle age is just perfect. I feel like I’d choose an average life and moderation for my child. That may seem boring, but I feel like it’s balanced and happy on the whole, rather than up and down all the time.

  6. Moderation doesn’t have to mean average, although instability and burn out are more likely with excess. I am rather hedonistic and swing wildly through extremes so my kids are not likely to be average, unfortunately for them (being different in these formative years can be particularly harsh).
    Well thought out post x

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