recognizes that many good things in life are good only
in moderation. There really can be too much of something wonderful.
Most virtues, taken to excess become vices. When an interest,
affection, or endeavor becomes utterly consuming, it doesn't
allow room for other kinds of goodness.
gets kind of a bad rap in our world. We live in a
society in which restaurants serve enough food on one plate
for two meals, in which people have five-foot-wide
televisions in rooms that are only ten feet wide, in which
drinking to excess is a norm for many people, and in which
the average sale price of a car is over $30,000--even though
for the vast majority of us, a $16,000 vehicle would more
than meet our needs.
moderation, though, gives us an opportunity to recognize
that our needs can be filled more simply, and that when we
do practice moderation, it helps us. Moderation in
eating helps our health; moderation in spending helps our
finances and can contribute to peace of mind; moderation in
material goods can simplify our lives and allow us to focus
on things that are truly more important than possessions.
love chocolate, but one of the things that keeps me loving
it is the fact that I don't eat it all the time.
Sometimes I go days or weeks without having any, and it
tastes great when I finally do. I love teaching, but
when I make a mistake and take on too many classes, I pay
for it by getting burned out and frustrated. When I
practice moderation, I give myself an opportunity to focus
on other endeavors, also, to broaden my scope of interests,
and to experience the "other kinds of goodness"
that the author of the passage mentions.
moderation doesn't mean self-imposed poverty. We
weren't put on this planet to take advantage of it and
overuse its resources, though. A sense of moderation
is a sense of respect for the lives we're living, the planet
on which we're living, and the people and animals with whom
we share that planet.