Tuesday, December 11, 2007


ADF’s definition of moderation is “cultivating one’s appetites so that one is neither a slave to them nor driven to ill health (mental or physical), through excess or deficiency.”

ADF couches moderation in terms of addiction. For me, it is more than that. I see moderation in terms of living a healthy life. Consider how disruptive a life is when ruled by excess emotions. People move from drama to drama, but never resolve
anything. The other extreme is having a life of suppressed emotions. How can anyone experience life, if they chose not to feel? Living a life with icy calmness is as destructive as being an erupting volcano.

Moderation encompasses many things – wisdom, prudence, and a desire not to live in the extremes. In the philosophical sense, moderation is the even handed approach to life. Moderation counsels, “choose the middle path, rather than fluctuate between the two extremes”. As the road map to a fulfilling life, moderation places boundaries on excesses.

In their practical way, Romans modified the extreme parts of the Greek philosophy of stoicism. Valuing moderation, the Romans wanted stoicism to apply to the actual challenges of daily life. For them, practical wisdom was the life lived with good sense. To me, that is the definition of moderation.

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