Is moderation really better than excess? I believe so. How else are we to learn the measure of worth if we have too much of it. Now, there are some things that you can almost never have too much of, and the number one is money. Having money is lovely, but having too much can be unhappy. There is a saying that I grew up hearing, “More Money, equals More Problems!” Could not be truer. It’s always nice to have the moderated version so that you can do the things that you want to do, anytime that you want to do them; but it does not necessarily mean the life will be a joyous one. Too much of something is always a bad thing.
Have you ever been in a relationship that started out with astonishing passion? You felt the unbelievable thrill every time you saw the person and wanted to be with them every minute of the day. The correlations were magnetic. But after a few months or even weeks, things started to fizzle out. You began to get bored and restless, and would do just about anything for a break. That’s when you know that the magical sparks have faded out.
Or have you ever been on cruise longer than a week? When you first get on that boat and into your room, the peace begins. You can shake all of your worries and troubles off and leave them behind. You have unlimited room service, massive gourmet buffets, parties and comedy shows every night. You have a beautiful scenery whether it’s from your room or on deck. You have dress up nights and lounge around days. What more could you ask for. But, overtime you start to miss your cluttered life back home. The children calling your names or even just your everyday routine. The home cooked meals and even the demanding projects at work that seem to be always due right now. As time goes by, those once breathtaking must needed vacay just becomes the ordinary of your day to day life.
Do you remember the last time that you fell in lust by a fabulous funky pair of shoes? You liked them so much that you bought one in every color. You wore them every day with every outfit. But eventually you get tired of even looking at them and they go back into the closet with the rest of the cast offs.
What seems to be the common thread in these scenarios? They all show the ways I which our brains quickly become traditionally stimulated. While at first our senses are acutely tuned in to what they are receiving, they fast become acclimated to the fireworks. The sparks lose the ability to give us that wow factor and pleasure. It becomes a nonfactor and we become numb to it. When this happens, people look for something new to experience those thrilling feelings again.
When these feelings arise in us, society has an answer for out boredom, our anxiousness and unhappiness. It’s called more. More stimulation, more sex, more drinking and drugs, more money, more food and even more freedom. More of any and everything is what is sold as the cure for the feelings that we have. Yet ultimately, the more stimulation we receive, the less joy and fulfillment we get out of it. What people fail to realize is that to experiment greater fulfillment and pleasure is actually moderation.
Moderation is not the hip word that we like to use. Everything is presented in height. We have extreme sports and extreme energy drinks, and even extreme dating. We look for the extremes because we really believe that the more intense an experience is, the pleasurable it will be.
When I think of overabundance, I think of a quote that says, “Never go to excess, but let moderation be your guide” (Cicero). To me, that means that having a lot of something is not the same as having a little and appreciating what you have.
Humans have always sought greater and greater stimuli. An example can be found in almost any situation. Take for instance; Tartuffe was a con artist with a voracious appetite whether in food and drinks or even his lust for Elmire. He took good strides to hide his...