Everything in moderation was one of my mum’s favourite sayings. The influence of parents is powerful and now, all these decades after I first heard her say those words, they make more sense than ever. My father was a moderate man: risk-averse, dependable and “solid”. The label “conservative” fits but not in the misused sense of the word these days. I studied politics and sociology at university and learned about the Great Thinkers who were also an influence.
I reflected on the various influences on me, my values and world view after reading David Brooks’ compelling opinion editorial this week in the New York Times.
Wikipedia describes him a “conservative commentator”. He edited an anthology, Backward and Upward: The New Conservative Writing. But he isn’t a rabid right-winger who've become more vocal in the past few decades. He has been critical of the “infantile” President of the United States.
His New York Times columns aren’t restricted to politics. I don't always agree with him but he is always objective, fair and reasonable. And so he is a much-needed voice of reason – moderation – in these days of harmful extremes.