Day 3 – To Moderate or Not to Moderate

They say “do everything in moderation” when it comes to decisions about how to spend your time and your life – do you agree? Or are there some things that should be done at the extremes, or perhaps that are truly are all or nothing propositions?

This is one statement that came to me late in life. Honestly, I never heard “All things in moderation” growing up until well after high school. I guess it’s not something teachers or parents want to tell their kids, when they ask about stuff like smoking or sex; it would have sounded a lot more like a license to do than invitation to think.

I think that there are certain things to which we should attend moderately. Usually, it’s the thing to which we are already inclined to excess, either by our genetic predisposition or by passion. Smoking, drinking, the gym (for some), food, tv, reading, blogging, texting and many other activities are actions that could seem to grow in time consumption by the minute until one day that, which was once an occasional retreat, has become an obsession, stealing away the time we would normally work, or sleep, or be with family.

I believe there is an opposite and equally lethal side to this tale, however. When we take things that we are naturally inclined to either moderate or even neglect, and let that inclination drive us, it can be deadly to both our joy and effectiveness on this planet. Let’s say you have an idea for something that could really change the world. Let’s say you have a concept for the new source of luminescence called a “light bulb“. People say you are crazy, but you are convinced that given just the right amount of voltage paired with just the right amount of wattage you could light an entire room… Without using any wax or oil or open flame at all! There comes a point when, though its been nice, the hobby must die. The moderate tinkering here and there with invention must now become more. Obsession is the only thing worthy of this grand idea you have. It is going to take long nights, longer days, and all the hard work and sweat you have got to make this idea a reality. And moderation is not going to cut it!

How about writing a novel…

In 30 days.

How a about running…

A marathon.

How about pursuing the gospel

In 16 countries in 12 months.

How about eliminating poverty…

By 2038.

Moderation is necessary to our health. But so is obsession, I guess. Or perhaps you can call it passion.

So, really, it IS moderation in all things…

Including moderation.


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