WHENEVER anyone exceeds moderation, the most delightful things may become the most undelightful.
EPICTETUS. FRAGMENTS. 50.
IF you are struck by the appearance of any promised pleasure, guard yourself against being hurried away by it; but let the affair wait your leisure, and procure yourself some delay. Then bring to your mind both points of time: that in which you shall enjoy the pleasure, and that in which you will repent and reproach yourself after you have enjoyed it; and set before you, in opposition to these, how you will rejoice and applaud yourself if you abstain. And even though it should appear to you a seasonable gratification, take heed that its enticing and agreeable and attractive force may not subdue you; but set in opposition to this how much better it is to be conscious of having gained so great a victory.
EPICTETUS. MANUAL. 34.
This is a tough one. To pause before granting yourself a 'pleasure,' to consider your future feelings, these seem to be really alien to our culture of instant gratification. How do I feel about winning so great a victory as to resist an impulse? I will have to try it!ReplyDelete
Wow the first excerpt seems somewhat appropriate with our coming Thanksgiving feasts. :) Turkey is wonderful but too much turkey can be a painful thing! LOLReplyDelete
The second excerpt reminds me of our society's impulse buying and rash accumulation of stuff. Carefully ponder your purchases and wait at least 72 hours before buying an unplanned purchase!
Our society is so plagued by the inability to practice moderation. The evidence of our gluttony is everywhere; on our bodies, in our rented storage units and in our landfills. Moderation in all things is an axiom that we all need to continue to embrace and revisit on a daily basis.ReplyDelete
I think for me, as a Stoic, it is more about taking a "moment to pause before indulging" that I am encouraging. To consider the consequences of the indulgence before taking the action by being mindful of ourselves and the world around us. I would advocate practicing a "pause" before taking action... in that "pause" there is a world of difference from the polar opposite worlds of gluttony and Asceticism.
All that glitters is not gold,ReplyDelete
Often have you heard this told.
Many a man his life has sold
For a trifle to behold:
Gilded tombs do worms enfold.
May you be as wise as bold,
Young in limbs, in judgement old
For pleasures, though their bliss extoll'd,
Are quickly fled, their mem'ry cold.
- Adapted from W. Shakespeare.