At the heart of many of the world's major religions and philosophies lies an age-old tenet, a principle that has stood the test of time: Moderation. Though often overlooked in the bustle of our busy lives, it is a key cornerstone for building a healthy, fulfilling life.
II. Moderation in world religions and philosophies
A quick delve into some of the world's major religions and philosophies sheds light on the importance placed on moderation. Buddhism, for instance, advocates the 'Middle Way', a path of moderation away from both the extreme of self-indulgence and self-mortification. In Christianity, there is the virtue of temperance, which discourages excess and promotes moderation in all things. Islam, too, extols moderation, described as 'wasat' in the Quran, cautioning against excesses in faith and life in general. These teachings demonstrate that moderation has been esteemed across different cultures and epochs.
III. Abstention vs prohibition
The concept of abstention, often lauded by religious and philosophical texts, is worth considering. Abstention - the personal choice to forgo certain actions or substances - can indeed be fruitful, offering clarity, self-discipline, and enhanced wellbeing. However, prohibition, the external imposition of abstention, is a different matter altogether. It negates the element of personal choice, potentially creating a sense of resentment or rebellion. Prohibition restricts; moderation empowers.
IV. Moderation vs Centrism
While moderation champions balance, it should not be conflated with centrism - always picking the 'middle of the road' option. Moderation requires introspection, deliberation, and personal judgement; it requires us to weigh up the good and the bad and decide our unique balance. Centrism, however, can sometimes be an evasion of this responsibility, a fallback to a ‘one-size-fits-all’ model which may not suit individual needs or contexts.
V. Conclusion: The logic of small doses
In summary, moderation is more than an age-old adage; it's an invitation to a healthier, more balanced life. It doesn't demand perfection but encourages gradual improvement. It doesn’t preach prohibition but supports informed choice. And it is not about always taking the middle road, but about finding your unique path.
Even an uninformed individual can appreciate the inherent logic of 'small doses' - a little of what you fancy does you good, whether it brings suffering or joy. After all, life is not about avoiding all difficulties or chasing perpetual joy. It's about finding the balance that works for you, and continually refining it. That is the true essence of a moderate life.