The Rediscovery of Moderation
Posted on April 28, 2014

A proud grandmother told me recently that her grandson had finally uttered his first sentence, something his parents had awaited with bated breath. And what were his momentous words? "I want some fruit."

As Grandma said, "I knew he was a sensible child." I chuckled, and then thought that the food police would love him for his choosing fruit over chocolate, but perhaps his taste world has been limited by his careful parents.

We do seem to have a food obsession lately. All those articles tell us that if we would only eat x, y and z, we will reduce our risk of some form of cancer by 30% or 40% or... I have become dizzy from the statistics and so I was thrilled to read today that someone (who are these gurus?) has now decided that it doesn't matter what you eat, provided it is in moderation. Wisdom of wisdoms!

They also opined that forbidding some foods only makes them more desirable. Hah! It sounds like that someone has been reading the story of Adam and Eve in the Bible. The psychology of desire is not new.

I had another chuckle at the recent "discovery" that cartoon characters on cereal boxes are looking right at small children and are therefore encouraging them to pluck the boxes from the shelves. Now the gurus have reconsidered. The characters are actually drawn looking at the cereal bowls on the box which puts their eyes on an angle to meet those of the child in the aisle. Must we redesign them to look into outer space?

The celebration of moderation is sorely needed. It applies to so much more than food. We have become gluttons for exercise, for video games, for texting, or for sitting down, courtesy of Netflix, and watching an entire season of a TV series in one afternoon or evening. When we find something pleasurable, moderation will not do. It has to be full throttle or nothing.

We might want to take a moment to rethink how this word fits into our lives.

It is a practice that can carry us far.


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