Student Column: The Case for Moderation

Student Column: The Case for Moderation

"We Should be Balanced in All Aspects"

Moderation is the idea that we should always strive to lead a balanced life and avoid all kinds of extremism.  We should always be moderate and balanced in all aspects of our lives.  Every admirable trait has two ends responsible for it.  For example, generosity is the mid-point between miserliness and extravagance, while the mid-point between cowardice and recklessness is courage.  We should always aim to find the centre of everything.

Material Wealth: Human beings have an insatiable drive to obtain as much material wealth as they can, even to the extent of going over immoral boundaries.  They believe that material wealth can guarantee them happiness and security.  They become so immersed and competitive that they become oblivious to their surroundings until some misfortunes befall them that bring them back to reality.  Be moderate in the desire to succeed or to gain fame, wealth and a name.   

Work-Life Harmony: Be careful not to immerse yourself too much in your work.  Be reminded that you work to live and not live to work.  We’ve heard of scientists mentioning the importance of Work-Life Balance, which means 50% work and 50% all other stuff.  The truth is, it’s very difficult to have a perfect balance between these two.  There is always a skewed side towards work because, naturally, many believe that work sustains life.  What is needed is to harmonise the two aspects, making it Work-Life Harmony.   

There are a great many things that you can do to enrich your lives besides work.  Being with family, socialising with friends, volunteering in the community, or savouring the beauty of nature should make up some percentage in your life.  It is important that you harmonise your time for all these activities appropriately and do not concentrate too much on one thing at the expense of another.  We have a duty to our job, our body, our family and our community, and we should give each one the attention it deserves.

Relationships: We should be moderate in our relationships with others.  Which means we should ensure our feelings and emotions are in check.  We should love people sufficiently but not let it turn to infatuation or obsession.  Obsession or infatuation often leads to us imitating the bad behaviours of others or endorsing their bad morals and values.  Both can lead to negative values in our lives.  And we shouldn’t hate somebody so much that malice takes over our hearts and we plan to cause harm to that person.  Being moderate in your feelings for a person can also help you to cope with losses due to death or break-ups.  It will also help you to put a check on your hatred or jealousy of that person.  A wise person once said, “Let not your love be infatuation, and let not your hatred be your destruction.”

Food and Diet: Food-lovers, chocolate-lovers, or dessert-lovers tend to go overboard and gorge themselves with those foods that they love.  Such a habit can get you into lots of trouble, mainly health issues.  Problems like obesity, diabetes, high-blood pressure and heart problems are all symptoms of extreme eating habits.  At the other extreme, there are people who go on really strict diets that eventually cause them more harm than good.  Bulimia Nervosa and Anorexia Nervosa are two very common eating disorders which are at opposite extremes.  Bulimia is an eating disorder characterised by binging or excessive overeating, followed by vomiting, excessive exercise, laxative use or fasting.  Anorexia, on the other hand, is characterised by an abnormally low body weight with an intense fear of gaining weight.   

People suffering from this normally restrict harshly the quantity of food they eat and, not only that, they use the same methods as Bulimia to purge out the little food that they have consumed.  This lack of nutrition can lead anorexic individuals towards starvation and a host of other diseases.  Thus, moderation in eating and drinking is very, very pertinent in staying healthy.  Imagine your stomach as a vessel.  It is advised that you fill up your stomach with 1/3 food, 1/3 water and leave 1/3 for air.  What is 1/3 depends on an individual, his metabolic rate and way of life.   

Eating too much will cause you to feel heaviness, which makes you sleepy and too lazy to do work.  Besides eating moderately in quantity, be also moderate in the type of food that you eat. Strive to have a balanced meal with a variety of proteins, carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables. Avoid eating too much protein or too much carbohydrate at the expense of fruit and vegetables.

Sports and Hobbies:  Be moderate also in terms of spending time in sports or your hobbies.  It is understandable that some people engage in competitive sports, thus, they need to spend a lot of time on it.  However, just like work, there should be some kind of moderation so as not to jeopardise your health and your family.  Some people are also too engrossed and obsessed in their hobbies like computer gaming, social networking or watching movies.  Be moderate and don’t let your obsession rule your life.  There are many other useful things that could benefit you in other aspects of your life.

Moderation is a comprehensive principle that guides us in all activities of our lives.  The avoidance of any type of extremism leads us to a balanced way of life.  With a renewed understanding of the importance of being moderate, we can oppose or stop the many rising tides of extremism prevalent in our society today.  Socrates was once quoted as saying some 2,500 years ago, “All things in moderation, including moderation.”  Let’s take heed of his advice.

WUP 28/8/2019
by Hanna Albdelwahab
©WUAS Press

Related Content