Zia Hassan

Moderation Vs Indulgence

+++ title = “12” date = 2019 +++

Oscar Wilde once said “everything should be consumed in moderation, including moderation.”

I stopped and thought about this quote the first time I heard it. I interpreted the message as it’s important to indulge occasionally, that we aren’t really living unless we’re indulging. And that led to another thought, what specifically is an indulgence? And for that matter, what specifically is moderation?

Although the dictionary isn’t _alway__s _useful, it can be helpful some of the time.

Moderation is defined as the avoidance of excess or extremes. 

Indulgence is defined as allowing one’s self to enjoy pleasure.

It seems to me that these ideas are not mutually exclusive. In fact, one can practice moderation while indulging. If a person can’t allow themselves to enjoy pleasure without going to extremes, then they may need to seek therapy for addiction.

If we can indulge, allow ourselves to enjoy the pleasure, of anything… even of those things that we feel are consumed in moderation, then we never need to go to extremes and drop moderation entirely. Perhaps Wilde assumed that moderation means having so much control over consumption that pleasure is stifled. But I disagree.

If, every day, you ate a hamburger, French fries, and milkshake, you might think of this an indulgence. You might think that moderation means eating a green salad on most days and saving the burger for the weekend. But I think it’s more nuanced.

Perhaps moderation means slowing down the burgers, yes. But indulgence could mean learning to savor the flavor profile of a _really _good green salad. One could indulge deeply in something that isn’t extreme, and perhaps the same could go for anything in a person’s life. Family, job, water with fruit in it.

Let’s indulge every day, without going to extremes.