"Sail the main course, sail it in a simple, sturdy craft,
-Jimmy Buffett, "Barometer Soup"
Jimmy Buffett has inspired me on several occasions, and here he does it again. Moderation is the key to avoiding any extreme, by definition. Extremes are dangerous, though one should not avoid them altogether. After all, even extremes can be helpful, in moderation.
I fought recently with an addiction of my own. It wasn't an impressive or dangerous addiction in terms of putting myself in physical or psychological danger, but it was definitely enough to destroy some things in my life.
Toward the end of my college career, I became addicted to a video game (boy, that sounds lame, but it's true). I didn't care to solve the game, I just preferred playing the game to doing anything else. I delighted in the excess, and ignored several key aspects of my college life: my studies, my fencing, and my friends. I rarely went to practice for fencing, and I can't forgive myself for this even today. My studies weren't hurt as much, but they came close. With all the time I had, I should have pulled straight A's. I pulled B's. When it came to friends (including my girlfriend), I put them off to play for a while.
Once I graduated, my problem deepened. I was slightly depressed (not in a clinical way) with what had happened in my life, and I didn't look too hard for a job. I ignored the possibilities around me, and yet could not understand why I didn't have a job.
Eventually, I got a job with the university. Because I was so busy for the next couple of weeks, I didn't play much of the game. I think it broke my addiction by going cold turkey. I felt that something was missing, though. I brought my game from home and installed it on the computer at work. I don't ever play during my work hours (the occasional lunch break excluded), and play about 3 or 4 times per month now. I don't play at home unless I want to network with someone outside OSU's firewall, but I find that I enjoy my playing time so much more now that I no longer do it so often.
That said, I've experienced addiction (thankfully to something quite harmless!), and I know how to deal with it now. I recall reading that a magician cannot afford to be addicted to anything. I'm not seeking the role of magician in ADF, but I feel this still applies to me, since I seek the role of clergy, and I think it might be worse if I had an addiction in that role than as a magician.
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