Aristotle denotes the polarities of every virtue. A courageous person, for example, cannot have too much of it (which will turn him into a foolhardy person) or too deficient of it (which will turn him into a cowardly person).
You see, a foolhardy person is a person who is not cowardly but neither is he courageous. A foolhardy person can be very brave but without direction, no purpose, no virtue. You cannot be with this guy for real. For he may either break your neck or break his own.
A cowardly person is no different than the foolhardy. He is neither foolhardy nor does he is courageous. If you can’t be with a foolhardy, you might as well distant from a cowardly person because he might not break his neck nor yours, but somebody will.
Just some quickie morals on these two. The foolhardy will make a lot of risks in his life at all times, so does a cowardly person who misses all opportunities by running away from it. Think about it, especially if you’re into financial investment or like doing some stock trading stuff where fear, anger and greed paddles the canoe of the marketplace.
But first, check yourself for this.
Now, how about a courageous person. The courageous person is a perfect blend of the two elements.
So what does it mean?
A courageous person is neither too brave nor too cowardly. In other words, he feels both sides of the spectrum. He is courageous when times and circumstances need it. And use the element of fear or “cowardness” to his own advantage if circumstances are asking for it. You know, you wanna be with this guy.
Aristotle is right by far and wide with this particular example. We always say, “…anything that is too much is not good. Anything that is too little is neither.” Well, that’s it, we know it. Then why was it that we are not still doing it?
We know what a balanced diet means. If having a balanced diet would bring you closer to a perfect and virtuous person you would become, why not do it? If being generous but not being extravagant will bring us so closer to being virtuous, why are we not doing it yet?
Are you still expecting a virtuous person to be a superhuman? No it’s not. It could be you. Who knows, you might have been doing these stuff for a long time. Just ditch out the label and go for the real – honesty, generosity, courage, love, forgiveness, justice and all.