Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Moderation in All Things

I have frequently used the quote Moderation in all things to my kids.  I give credit of the source to Aristotle (384BC – 322 BC) from his Doctrine of the mean.  I was reading something tonight in which the Author gave credit for the saying to Salon (638BC- 558 BC) A greek statesman and one of the Seven Sages of Greece.
Given the fact there about a 200 year difference in the lives of the 2 men, if Salon said it first it must have been a popular and often repeated idea for quite some time before Aristotle was born.  Such must be the case in all popular thoughts and sayings, with the written history of man as ancient as it is I guess it is simply difficult if not impossible to have any original thought.  Anyway, I Goggled it and started looking around a bit. Before long I can upon a chat room discussing the thread.  The participants all seemed young and there was no lack of opinions.  Mostly dumb, some correct and then I read this one and cracked up.  This person was either quite witty or fairly stupid.  You decide. His answer was:

I had a friend who used to say "everything in moderation - including the truth". He attributed it to Plato but how reliable can a guy with that philosophy be?”  

As for the origin I will stick with the Aristotle thing as the Greeks didn’t start to record history until the 5th century and while much was passed down through recitation and recorded it can only be in reality here say at best.  I look at Solon as sort of the Tom Paine of his day.  He became prominent for reciting a poem which rallied the Athenians to “arise and come to Salamis, to win that fair island and undo our shame”.  It worked the Athenians open up a can of Whoop ass and defeated Megara taking the island back.   

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