When I was growing up, my mom preached moderation. You eat only what you need for sustenance. When you grow up, you drink alcohol but only in moderation. In times of tension, the tempered response is advisable.
This past week, the Obama Administration lifted travel restrictions to Cuba for Cuban Americans. What seemed like a moderate measure stirred up a lot of discussion in the Cuban community and beyond. Not everyone considers this action moderate.
Compared to lifting all U.S. trade sanctions, this decision was moderate. Compared to letting all U.S. Citizens travel to Cuba regardless of ethnicity, this act was tempered.
The fact remains that your moderate may be my radical. You may not bat an eye at my outrageous and I might be freaked out by your daily habit.
We think we know what moderation looks and feels like. And we might have walked right by Sue Curtis from England. If you don’t know, Curtis walked outside her house for the first time in 18 years. How would you really know that Curtis was engaged in a herculean act instead of an everyday commute? What looked like a moderate act was actually Curtis tackling her greatest fear.
My moderate is profoundly rooted in the good lessons of my mother. And I am clear that my moderate and your moderate are different. When it comes to moderation, we cannot assume we share the same vision of that place somewhere between here and there.