Moderation Q2

Ben Franklin’s 13 Virtues: Week 9, Q2

Moderation: “Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.

Personal notes:

  • Avoid confusing with Temperance (food/drink); Moderation concerns more with emotions and personal interactions.
  • Avoid flying off the handle, and when you do, be sure to sit down and mull it over.
  • Tie it to last week’s observations.

Last week I was pretty fired up at my dad (in all honesty, I was seething) but took time to work through the emotions, determine a course of action, and, thankfully, calm down – the Bens13 framework worked! But in all honesty, I failed to moderate my emotional reaction. In fact, I’d say my emotions trapped me. Once fury sprung, I was stuck in the whirlpool for hours, spinning deeper and deeper into the abyss. Fortunately, I did not act and did not injure my father.

A few days later, when I found out why my dad didn’t want to talk, I felt bad for ever being angry. More than anything, he needed someone to talk to, and that realization made me think how often we confuse individual actions with personal insults; especially when we can interact without seeing, touching or listening to one another. Often there is no insult intended, just a lack of understanding or a missing piece of information lost amongst words typed on a screen.

Taking a step back was key. Putting everything down, turning off the cellphone, getting away from the noise, prevented me from injuring someone I love – you cannot fire off an ill-thought email if the computer is off. Maybe we all need more solitary reflection? Happy words masking a lie.

Some of these words are half-truths. Last week was great, and I’m trying to be positive, but I’m seething again on a Sunday night.“Forbear resenting injuries” is difficult. The saga of our previous apartment continues. Despite severing the relationship with our old landlords (last week), they refuse to go away. They are holding our security deposit hostage, and at this moment, I am having a very difficult time being moderate. Part of me believes there are those who take advantage of others, and moderation enables them when they do.

I guess this wasn’t meant to be easy.