Good Things and Moderation
The proponents of doing everything in moderation frequently like to assert that there is too much of a good thing. Is this a rightful analysis, and is it universally applicable?
Clearly there are some good things of which there can be too much. Food is an obvious example. Food is a good thing. However eating too much results in obesity and bad health. But then there are other things that I do not see turn into negatives regardless of how much there is of them.
I do not believe that one can be too beautiful. I do not believe that one can be too smart. I do not believe that one can be too kind or too principled or too compassionate or too insightful. Some things are just good, and they are made better the more there is of them.
Is love one of such things?
That is a question I often ask myself. Certainly there are often envious and hateful responses to people who are loved a lot, either by their husbands or by their parents; but the problem there is not the love that such people receive but rather the nastiness, envy and hatred on the part of those who aren't being loved as much. When a child is attacked for supposedly being "spoiled," or when a woman is attacked because her husband loves her, the problem is not with the love that they receive but with the ugliness that lives in other people's hearts. This problem is not resolved by reducing the love that is given these fortunates, but rather teaching and prevailing upon others to love their wives and their children as much as do the husbands and parents, respectively, of the well-loved. In the same way as income inequality is solved not by making wealthy poorer but by making poor wealthier, so the love inequality is solved not by reducing the love that is given by those who are loving but by teaching and prevailing upon the less loving to love more.
In matters of beauty and intelligence, there is and will always be inequality. Such things simply cannot be made equal any more than a chicken can be made to become a horse. People are born with different genetics, that has always been the case and it will remain the case always. That does not mean that someone with worse genetics is doomed to inferior existence. Choice, will and action makes all sorts of things possible for all sorts of people. It simply means that some people are more gifted naturally than are others in one or another way.
With proponents of moderation, perhaps this question is most relevant. Is there too much moderation? Is striving for moderation in all things too much a negative as well?
With some things, it clearly is. Some things are good and are better the more there is of them. The challenge becomes to figure out which things are best done in moderation, and which things are best the more they are present in the world.