It’s been a while since I wrote on the Maxims. Time to get back to them!
Delphic Maxim #14 asks us to control ourselves. I can’t really argue with this one. I think self-control is important. Self-control of all our parts (verbal, emotional, physical, etc) allows us to be intentional and minimizes unnecessary damage to others. Self-control is a good thing.
But I don’t view this in some sort of Calvinist denial of the body, some Puritanical denial of all things shiny and fun. Knowing how and when to control ourselves does not negate the need for expansiveness or even chaos. Controlling ourselves goes hand in hand with moderation, knowing what we need and when, and helps us to achieve our goals.
I am both excellent and horrible at this maxim. I have at points in my life exhibited an incredibly unhealthy amount of self-control, which was coupled with a staggering inability to control myself in other areas. I have no desire to go back to either extreme.
And that’s all I have to say about that.