February 19

Today's quotation:

Balance 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.


Today's Meditation:

Moderation 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.

Practicing 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.

I 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. 

Practicing 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 this planet.

Questions to consider:

Why do so many people find it so difficult to practice moderation in things like eating and spending and even working?

Are there any areas in which you feel you could be more moderate?

What "other kinds of goodness" are you missing out on if you're focused on something else to excess?

For further thought:

If you don't have enough you won't be happy.  Neither are you happy if you have too much.  It is those who have enough but not too much who are the happiest.

Peace Pilgrim

more on moderation



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