“Moderation is commonly firm, and firmness is commonly successful.”
— Samuel Johnson
I like to imagine Dr. Johnson walking along the banks of a classic rapid-dominated river, letting it shape his life view — for that beautifully moderate river type is also the most stable of streams. It’s not easily degraded by rainstorms, drought, land development, or other environmental shifts. Take a look and see if you can pick out the defining characteristics of this resilient river. Each such trait hands us a profound metaphorical tip worth pondering:
- The edges incline gradually like an open-mouthed “U.”
- The water moves along nicely, yet it’s no raging torrent.
- During spring runoff, the water surface will get a bit wider but not spread out as far as most rivers. This kind of stream keeps extra flow right within its channel — just getting deeper — much more often than most streams.
- From a bird’s-eye view, the stream pattern has some curve to it though you wouldn’t call it “meandering.”
- The rapid-dominated river is neither calm nor savage, neither too much nor too little… okay you get it.
“Moderation is a virtue only in those who are thought to have an alternative.”
Aha! Haven’t we always suspected there’s more going on behind those intellectual glasses, just based on Nancy alone?
So what’s a stream to do?
Naturally, you don’t want to destabilize when confronted with life’s changes .. but is moderation the only strategy for success? Often your favorite immoderation really brings you alive. Indeed, it’s part of your original medicine, your unique mix of gifts and talents that only you can bring to this world.
Never fear. Some pretty fantastic rivers are famously immoderate and they have agreed to advise you. Send me an email or comment describing YOUR trademark excess. I’ll forward your letters to my favorite healthy-and-wild streams, then post their responses: real-world perspectives on how you can live the life resilient plus enhance everyone’s journey with your own delightful alternative to moderation.
(I won’t use your real name on the site. The rivers will demand it of course, but they know how to keep a secret.)