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The Concept of “Everything in Moderation” in “The Sacred Vine” Poem

One of the main problems of modern people is their tendency to fall into the extremes. Many of the difficulties they have are likely to be caused by overindulging in something or by complete abstinence from it. It has become too difficult to avoid overusing the advantages of the modern world, such as technology, social media, for some even such basic needs as food or sleep are difficult to control. The main reason for it is the fact that many of these activities have recently become available to people, and not everyone has learned how to use those benefits in moderation. Instead, people choose to claim something to be ‘good’ or ‘bad’, and not think that the same thing can be both, depending on the way it is used.

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Horace’s poem The Sacred Vine describes the effects of exuberance and moderation, using wine as an example. Addressing his friend Varus throughout the poem, he explains why it is so important to learn to ‘relate to things’ and have self-control (Authorama, n.d.). In the first part of the poem, Horace describes ‘the good’ that wine can do: it can help one to forget their worries and troubles, and this may be quite valuable. However, when ‘abused by excess’, wine can only harm. This is the main point of the poem: when something as sacred as wine is taken to the extreme, it loses all its use and turns into ‘the bad’ thing.

Modern times are not as different from the times of Horace. People have only created new things to overuse or underuse. The range of modern addictions is wide: from internet and technology addictions to eating disorders, with all of the mentioned often being created by people themselves. It is unfair to say that people do not understand the harm that is caused by overusing technologies and other benefits of modern life. Indeed, they do, and it is becoming increasingly common to raise awareness about physical, mental and other problems that arise as a result of too much screen time, binge-eating and many other things. Yet, people often make the mistake of blaming the things, and not the lack of control. It is important to remember that technology by itself cannot harm. On the contrary, it can be a highly valuable tool that gives numerous opportunities for learning and working, for innovation and art. One just has to choose what they want it to be and learn how to handle it properly so that they only yield positive results.

Ancient Greeks were well-aware of the dangers of the extremes: to illustrate the losing of self-control and self-respect, they painted images that represented all those vices at the bottoms of special bowls, used for wine. Those images could be seen when one had drunk all the wine from the bowl. We can only guess what effect it had on the people who drank too much in ancient Greece. The main point is, everyone needs to develop the ways to control themselves. As an old English proverb says, “Enough is as good as a feast”. One could even argue that enough is better than a feast, because it makes the feast more enjoyable.

To conclude, it has to be stated that knowing one’s limits is probably the best thing they can do for themselves to be happy and find joy even in the smallest things. Nothing is good or bad by itself: people create things and people are the ones who give them meanings. To avoid the frustration of being too dependent on anything, it is essential to learn self-control and moderation.

Reference

Authorama. (n.d.). The works of Horace. Authorama – Public Domain Books. Web.

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StudyCorgi. (2022, September 20). The Concept of “Everything in Moderation” in “The Sacred Vine” Poem. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/the-concept-of-everything-in-moderation-in-the-sacred-vine-poem/

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StudyCorgi. "The Concept of “Everything in Moderation” in “The Sacred Vine” Poem." September 20, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/the-concept-of-everything-in-moderation-in-the-sacred-vine-poem/.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "The Concept of “Everything in Moderation” in “The Sacred Vine” Poem." September 20, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/the-concept-of-everything-in-moderation-in-the-sacred-vine-poem/.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'The Concept of “Everything in Moderation” in “The Sacred Vine” Poem'. 20 September.

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