The phrase, “everything in moderation,“ is often bantered about freely in a wide variety of situations.?
The phrase was originally spoken in the Bible by the apostle Paul. The context, in this case, had to do with the consumption of meat that was sacrificed to idols, a culturally forbidden meat.
Basically, some folks in his day considered it acceptable and some folks did not. In dealing with this issue, the apostle Paul made the statement, “everything is permissible,” but continued his thought by asserting that “though permissible, not everything is advisable.”
His intent was to not lead others astray by exhibiting what one personally felt was right.
Whether you believe this is the original source of the phrase in which we are talking, it is important to understand this phrase has been used to meet and justify an individual’s own personal belief systems. What I mean by this is that saying “everything in moderation” could conceivably mean any of the following:
- I can eat anything that I want in moderation.
- I can do anything I want in moderation.
- I can exhibit any behavior I want in moderation.
As you can see, by these statements, there are really no boundaries. It all depends on what the person wants.
Here’s the problem.
If everything in moderation is acceptable, we must include the following: sickness, disease, cheating in relationships, cheating in financial dealings, and even dishonesty in a variety of situations ARE also acceptable.
I would imagine that this moment you may be saying, “Dr. Mark, that is ridiculous. None of those are acceptable in moderation.”
I would actually agree with you. However, if we are brutally honest, and believe our common saying “everything in moderation” and actually live by it, we are actually saying that all of the aforementioned occurrences are indeed acceptable.
I base this on the following rationale: If we eat foods and exhibit behaviors that lead to the development of disease conditions or regrettable actions, aren’t we actually supportive of these negative consequences?
We are forced with this dilemma, do we really agree with the statement “everything in moderation,” or do we not? The truth is that the majority would never think that any amount of disease, sickness, or inappropriate behavior is OK.
Our expectations must change.
We must understand, that even though we want balance in life, we should realize excellence is possible. We should understand that not everything is permissible. We should grasp the concept some things, even in moderation, are never good for us.
As we have stated to many of our patients, let’s all strive for and pursue perfection (even though we KNOW that’s not possible) and habitually visit excellence along the way.
We hope this offers a different perspective to an often overused, and misunderstood statement. Living a life of optimal wellness requires discipline, awareness, diligence, focus, and resolve.
Each of us are capable of exhibiting these attributes on a daily basis. It just requires a belief system that gets in line with our potential. Therefore, we must commence our journey with this statement: