All things in moderation. Really?

Dear President Trump,

In case you were wondering, I woke up feeling much better today. Still sore and tender, but healing up and the malaise is gone.

Today I’ve been thinking about the phrase “moderation in all things.” I’m not sure why it popped into my head but it did. I’ve realized that at both the personal and societal levels moderation is highly contextual. A moderate amount of cooked carrots is not going to be the same as a moderate amount of aspirin, unless you really hate carrots and can only stand to eat two tiny bits. Pretty obvious, I know, but I’d never thought about it this way before. Then I got to thinking about whether one could extend the idea of all things in moderation to lying, cheating, and treasonous behavior — could there be any benefit in engaging in moderate amounts of those types of behaviors? I am inclined to say no, but let’s, for a moment, consider this more carefully. One way to think about it is whether one is the liar, cheater, or treason-doer or one is on the receiving end. The former person might think some lying, cheating, or treason is fine since it serves an end important to that person (e.g., more money, more power, avoiding black-mail material from being disclosed, etc.). The latter type of person, however, is almost certainly not going to be ok with being lied to, cheated, or betrayed, even in small measures.

Then there’s the question of whether some lying, cheating, or treason could possibly be good for a society. This is an interesting idea. Do societies need some level of tension brought about by people in power behaving in these ways to be healthy? I don’t really know but it occurs to me that it would be nice to find out if we can get along ok as a society without lying, cheating, and treason. It would be an interesting experiment, don’t you think? I bet you aren’t going to sign on to it and instead are going to hew to the idea that you are entitled to lying, cheating, and treason since you are you. But the rest of us on the receiving end of it are really not good with this position and we are taking you on, and not especially moderately.

Even people who lie, cheat, and commit treason (at the very least by not disclosing business dealings with other countries), deserve blessings so here is yours;

May you be safe.
May you be happy.
May you be healthy and strong.
May your life unfold and intersect peacefully.

Tracy Simpson


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