“The brief elation we experience appeasing sensual impulses is very close to what the drug addict feels when indulging his or her habit. Temporary relief is soon followed by a craving for more. And in just the same way that taking drugs in the end only causes trouble, so too does much of what we undertake to fulfill our immediate sensory desires. We must acknowledge that there can be no hope of gratifying the senses permanently. At best, the happiness we derive from eating a good meal can only last until the next time we are hungry”

–          His Holiness the Dalai Lama


Moderation is defined by Webster’s Dictionary as to “lessen the intensity or extremeness”.  Moderation is the balance between something intense and something not intense at all. In social terms moderation is a continued tug-of-war in self management – an endless vigilance in personal responsibility. It is up to each individual to determine when enough is enough; whether it is drinking coffee or alcohol, smoking or eating. Whether it is exercise or just working hard to make an honest living, moderation is a gauge of awareness that should not be overlooked in our daily lives. I think it is alright to indulge in the occasional greasy hamburger and fries. I think it is fine to drink a martini or have a glass of wine with dinner. I believe almost everything in moderation is okay as long as it does not hurt you or hurt others in the present or long-term. Moderation is a balance of positive energy. We need to question our needs and wants as they relate to our addictions and compulsive tendencies. If someone is indulging in a vice such as alcohol or worse, illicit drugs to temporally remedy a deep-rooted control pattern, you are only reinforcing negative scripts and becoming reliant on something that is only going to make matters worse. Yet, I believe certain vices can be enjoyed in moderation for the benefit of an individual. I am not saying drug experimentation is the path to follow. Nor is smoking something people should take up in moderation.  Simply said, life is an exciting journey and along the way you may indulge in certain vices that if used responsibly and in moderation can make life more enjoyable.  It is up to each individual to regulate their own levels of moderation and also determine what indulgences are positive or negative based on their very own personal situations. A trigger of mental awareness can be used in situations where moderation is needed. Ask yourself, do I need another drink? Do I need to eat this whole burrito when I am already full? Simple self-reflective questions will help make better self directive decisions so we do not live in excess. We are smart people; we know when enough is enough. The key is to take heed to such mental triggers and actually listen to them. Use moderation as a tool in life and you will suffer less!

John C. Bader