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It we eat too much, we are liable to grow fat thus becoming vulnerable to so many diseases just waiting to do their dirty job on us. If we do not eat enough, then we will suffer the consequences of malnutrition.
Over-eating and not-eating enough are extremes they don’t help us to live life fully. Either way we pay the price of becoming extremes. The only sane and healthy way is to eat moderately, enough to sustain our bodies but not too much to cause problems.
There are some people who are fanatically religious. They become blind to other things besides what they think religion demands of them. As a result they live out of touch with reality and cause numerous problems to the rest of us. Their over-righteous attitude to life makes them see things only in two ways—right or wrong. They make for themselves as prison of their beliefs and damn the rest of us who do not agree with them.
Right on the opposite end is godless people without a strand of conscience in their hearts. They are more like animals who give way to all their lusts and desires. They say and do things that show no respect or concern for other people. All they want is, the satisfaction of their desires, regardless of the consequences.
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Religious fanaticism or godlessness is extremes that will only bring grief to those involved with them. Both require the taking of one side to the complete avoidance of the opposite. The result is an imbalance that can only bring disaster.
A person who wishes to remain clear-headed will not indulge in any of these extremes. He does not blind his eyes with religious fury, nor does he inflame his heart with uncontrolled passion. He is a moderate person who lives his life gently letting his conscience to guide it. His life then proceeds along smoothly and calmly.
Everything in this world has its opposites. This is an unavoidable fact of life. We know something is hot only in relation to something cold. A person is tall only when compared to a short person. We are rich only when compared to a poorer person. Freedom is only meaningful when we experience the shackles of restrictions. We value our health because we know that we are capable of falling ill.
Society has a penchant for youthfulness. So in its extreme, everybody tries to remain young. Cosmetics sell in huge quantities. Boys and girls dress in all kinds of dresses that they think make them young and desirable. Middle-aged men and women too indulge in the same game. But nature has its way. People grow older by the moment. Old codgers fight a losing battle with time. Finally when old age sets in they sit mournfully alone in old folk’s homes or stately mansions with nobody around but a servant. The desirable extreme or trying to remain young will result in the unhappy extreme of getting old. If in the first place, we are moderate with our lives, not identifying with youth or old-age, then it will not matter at all whenever we are old. We can live peacefully with ourselves and let nature run its course painlessly, gently.
So it is with other areas of life. A super rich person is afraid of losing his wealth. His every riches keep him anxious. He is a prisoner of wealth. A person living in abject poverty is anxious about where his next meal will come from. He is a prisoner of fate. A moderate person who simply works for his living has no fear of losing his wealth and no worries about his next meal. Moderation carries him along without any problems.
Those who over-exercise burn themselves out. Those who sit sedately all day suffer from atrophy. A boy who studies all the time has no friends. Another who only makes friends fails in his examinations. Staying too long under the sun can result in heatstroke and sunburn. Not going out at all makes the skin pale and pallid. Riding too fast on a motorcycle means you may lose balance. Not moving at all means you cannot sit balanced on the motorcycle too. Sharpening a knife too often will wear the blade away quickly. Not sharpening at all will render the knife useless. Being extreme is always the cause of pain.
Moderation, then, is the key to life. It is the way to live our lives as it is meant to be lived.
I have spent today reflecting on the fact that I have been out of balance the past few days. I think it may have been the mounting loads of dirty laundry and dishes that actually caused my introspection.
According to the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English. moderation is: control of your behaviour, so that you keep your actions, feelings, habits etc within reasonable limits.
Okay, so I need to find some moderation in my life. I think I lost it. On second thought, maybe I never had it.
Moderation is something I have been struggling to achieve my whole life. I have gotten better, but I have found that every once in a while (or maybe more often than that), a new project or challenge will completely swing me out of balance.
Over the years I have either exercised avidly 7 days a week (sometimes more than once a day), or I have done no exercise for months at a time.
I have had periods of time where I either ate out of control and gained tons of weight, or I have kept a very strict diet and lost loads of weight. Sadly, I must have lost thousands of pounds over the years.
I have had years when I budgeted strictly and times when I have spent out of control.
There have been months when my house is clean and orderly as can be, and there are the other times when I am just a slob. (Ask my husband what my walk in closet looks like during those times!)
There are times when I am overly involved with helping friends or people who don’t even ask for help and then there are the times when I have trouble saying yes to helping people who ask me for help.
All in all, I would say that I live in the extremes. I am not complaining. I know that I was born to face this challenge for a reason and I am sure I am up for it.
In Judaism there is a concept of a “middle golden road”. This was a concept that the Rambam (a very wise Jewish scholar who lived over 800 years ago) expounded on. He discussed the fact that people should not feel too overconfident because it can lead to arrogance, but on the other hand that people should not be too lacking in confidence because that needs to feelings of unworthiness. He stipulated that we should learn to live the middle golden road, a happy medium between the two extremes.
The concept of living the middle golden road has been expanded into basically finding a happy harmony in all aspects of your life. Easier said than done. Much easier said than done. I think my life the way I have just described it is a perfect example.
Having a different work schedule every week doesn’t………..Okay that’s just an excuse.
Eating healthy helps.
Finding time to cook and prepare healthy food for yourself with a job, 5 kids, a husband and a house is impossible………………Okay that’s just an excuse.
Sleeping enough helps.
Getting into bed at a reasonable hour when you have so much to do and so few hours in the day is impossible…………Okay that’s just an excuse.
Trying the time and the energy to start exercising is tough when you have a gazillion things on your plate and mind. Also tough when it is cold and freezing in the house and outside…….Okay, yup another excuse.
Enjoying where you work helps.
Not enjoying it and wanting to work in a different field you are not qualified for makes everything harder……Okay that too is just an excuse.
Excuses are just that excuses and not very good reasons to not living your life in moderation.
So no more excuses. Not sticking to routines and to do lists is really what derails moderation.
I know what needs to get done on a daily and weekly basis. Sure sometimes I really do have to much to do, but let me honest. Most of the time that is not what keeps me from living a balanced life.
Some of my problem stems from perfectionism, although it has been loosening its grip on me over the years. If I do something it needs to be done as good as possible and of course as soon as possible. In the case of starting this blog for instance, it has been taking up a disproportionate amount of my time this past week because I want to understand right way, now, all the in and outs of the blogging and the technical stuff. I want to do this as best as I can because I feel passionate about getting my thoughts out to others. So in my eagerness to get this up and running, I have been neglecting my routines and my chores and sadly even my kids to some extent.
Some of my problem comes from laziness or maybe I should just call it a lack of enthusiasm for doing things I don’t get satisfaction or enjoyment out of doing. I mean is there anyone really who likes to do laundry every day and to cook every day and to clean every day…..and then to do it again. Sure my family likes a clean house and food and clean and folded laundry. I know that they appreciate me doing it for them but it’s not like a really big paycheck or constant words of thanks and awe. Sure I love a clean house and I love everything organized and taken care of, but if I am honest I think I would rather someone else do it.
On a side note, I think that the reason people like doing things for people they are not expected to help is because the sense of appreciation is greater because it was not expected from them.
When I am not distracted by some project or another and I am organized and follow routines, I do get the chores done quicker and have more time, but I find I have to fight with myself to stick to those routines.
Then there is the computer and the lure of the internet. Is that the problem or the escape? I think a little of both.
So it is already evening. I am feeling under the weather, but that is also not an excuse for the fact that I have accomplished only a fraction of what I should have today. It is my son’s 11th birthday tomorrow. I wanted to make the special number shaped chocolate cookies that I make for birthdays. I have not gotten him a gift yet and that still needs to be done.
Today has been a strong reminder to me that I really need to find that middle golden path in life. The one that will help me live my best life. The one where I will not only contribute to the world, but where I will also eat healthy, exercise, keep an organized house, have routines for myself and my kids and not feel at the end of the day that another day has slipped on by.
On the bright side, I have stuck to one routine and this is my 7th day of blogging in a row. This is the first time in my life that I have managed to write every day for a whole week. So now I am committed to finding moderation and that golden path in my life. Blogging was just the push I needed.
Moderation is the Key to Success
From history books to present day movie franchises, a message has been embedded in. As Robert Frost has written, “Some say the world will end in fire, Some say in ice. ” These two powerful forces may be completely different things with contradicting effects, yet they bring the same destruction. In the novel the Lord of the Flies, William Golding compares the fire to Jack's passion in order to set an example for pushing the potential of positive attributes that could eventually to lead to destruction. The author of Lord of the Flies uses the symbolism of fire to demonstrate the necessity of moderation as it is the key to success. The world is full of a variety of challenges, all bringing different types of trouble and chaos. Yet success can be achieved through one key device: moderation. Golding continuously develops this theme by enhancing the role of the fire. At the beginning of the book, the fire symbolizes hope and excitement, often bringing happiness to the group of boys. Even when the idea of “A fire, make a fire” is brought up, “the boys [got] on their feet” almost at once (Golding 52). A lively mood automatically replaces the originally gloomy atmosphere. Not only is building a fire fun to the boys, the fire builds a sense of security that reminds them of the secure environment of home. This only further boosts the jolly mood of the group as whole. Yet the vast amount of happiness is created with minimum use of the fire. The fire only serves as a signal fire, serving no other advanced role. As the book progresses, the fire continues to evolve and grow in terms of importance. It begins to take on more and more responsibilities until it takes part in the boys’ survival. The fire continues to serve as a signal fire, but is now used to also cook meat. The boys gather around as “[the] fire [burns] on the rock and fat [drips] from the roasting pig meat into the invisible flames” drooling over the.
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