Temperance

: the practice of drinking little or no alcohol
: the practice of always controlling your actions, thoughts, or feelings so that you do not eat or drink too much, become too angry, etc.

 

Source: www.merriam-webster.com

Etymology

Temperance (n.): mid-14th century, “self-restraint, moderation,” from Anglo-French temperaunce (mid-13th century), from Latin temperantiamoderation, sobriety, discretion, self-control,” from temperans, present participle of temperareto moderate” (related to: temper). Latin temperantia was used by Cicero to translate Greek sophrosynemoderation.” In English, temperance was used to render Latin continentia or abstinentia, specifically in reference to drinking alcohol or eating; hence by early 1800s it had come to mean “abstinence from alcoholic drink.”

Source: www.etymonline.com

Wisdom

“For Pleasure, Delight, Peace and Felicity live in method and temperance.”

Margaret Cavendish (1623-1673, philosopher, poet, scientist, fiction-writer, and playwright, who laid out a “very compelling version of the naturalism that is found in current-day philosophy and science)

Bio Source:

plato.stanford.edu/entries/margaret-cavendish/

“Reason's whole pleasure, all the joys of Sense,
Lie in three words, Health, Peace, and Competence.
But Health consists with Temperance alone,
And Peace, oh Virtue! Peace is all thy own.”

Alexander Pope (1688-1744, successful poet, satirist, best known for his translation of Homer)

Bio Source:

www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poets/detail/alexander-pope

“It is a queer thing. In a time of great need, when powerful leadership is demanded, the people—confused and excited—hear only the strident voices of the audacious, and refuse to listen to the voice of wisdom which, being wise, is temperate.”

Lloyd C. Douglas (1877-1951, American minister and author; best known for “The Robe” and “Magnificent Obsession”)

Bio Source:

www.goodreads.com/author/show/127901.Lloyd_C_Douglas

“The work of popular education, the temperance movement, the peace movement, are to a great extent carried on by the young. Their meetings show that the young understand one of their tasks: that of bringing together the different classes through social intercourse.”

Ellen Key (1849-1926, Ellen Karolina Sofia Key, Swedish feminist and writer whose ideas on sex, love and marriage, and moral conduct had a wide influence; called the “Pallas of Sweden”)

Bio Source:

www.britannica.com/biography/Ellen-Key

“Of two quite lofty things, measure and moderation, it is best never to speak. A few know their force and significance, from the mysterious paths of inner experiences and conversions: they honor in them something quite godlike, and are afraid to speak aloud. All the rest hardly listen when they are spoken about, and think the subjects under discussion are tedium and mediocrity.”

Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900, German classical scholar, philosopher, and critic of culture, who became one of the most influential modern thinkers)

Bio Source:

www.britannica.com/biography/Friedrich-Nietzsche

Meditation

“The work of popular education, the temperance movement, the peace movement, are to a great extent carried on by the young. Their meetings show that the young understand one of their tasks: that of bringing together the different classes through social intercourse.”

Ellen Key

 

As fellow travelers we may not always agree.  However, authentic discourse is a good thing.  It pushes us to the leading edge of innovation and co-creation.  However, the keys to healthy discourse are temperance, compassion, and sincere listening, which allows for deeper understanding and knowledge of each other and our world.

In order to truly come together we must step outside of our circles of similar thought and risk being provoked and changed.

This year, I’ve been fortunate to connect with people who are different from me, those who have different political views, religious theories, and who come from different generations, both older and younger.  It wasn’t something I planned.  Over time it was my spiritual practice to connect with a stranger a day, and as a result, some of those strangers have become acquaintances, and some acquaintances are slowly developing into friendships.

On the course to know each other we must have explorative dialogues to talk about the important issues, sometimes arguing and disagreeing.  The miraculous part will be to come back together more respectful of each other and each other’s viewpoints.

Be in awe, sojourners, of our abilities to talk with different people from many walks of life.  And let us accept our own complexities and foibles as we learn to accept those in others.

Faithfully Yours, Tonya

Discussion

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