[M.M.X.I.V. 270] In the center

I have mentioned many times on this blog, as well as in real life, that I am straight down the middle on many ideals.

Judaism?  Very moderate and practical.

Politics?  Almost totally disinterested.

Eating?  Eat-when-hungry, don’t-when-not.

Edna Ferber said, “Perhaps too much of everything is as bad as too little“, and I wanted to further reflect on that.

After reading the quote once more and taking a quick look at myself, there is one situation where this quote DEFINITELY applies to me.  That would be social situations, particularly mixers.  I have written about this in the past, but wanted to bring it back!  Interestingly, I did not bring up part of my code for mixers that I had developed when I first moved to Chicago.

That code, indeed, pertains to this prompt.  I feel that it is much better in get-to-know-you social situations to try and get to know a few people well, rather than have a “speed dating” technique.  Although this did not develop any strong friendships during the time, I feel that I had a better chance of getting to know people if I attempted to go beyond the surface, and that sometimes takes time.  I believe that I have mentioned my knack for instinctively finding the right conversation starters before.  If not, here is that mention!

In some sense, this relates to Facebook “friends.”  Although I know a lot of people, and a lot of people know me, I feel that many of these network connections are incredibly shallow, and perhaps detrimental.  I think I need to do some network percolation by removing Facebook friends that are people that I have only met once or twice, and not followed up with.  (Obviously, this excludes family, who will always be safe on my networks).

In some religious readings, the idea “If you grab too much, you grab nothing at all” is used, and I would agree with that.  Although the direct line refers to material, if you read between the lines, it is more about appealing to moderation, whether in usage or in ideology.

For a specific example, the last two days were ראש השנה (Rosh Hashanah), and I spent most of the time in services and/or the Hillel building.  After the ערבית (evening) service on the first day (i.e. Wednesday night), Northwestern Hillel hosted a dinner, and over 200 people came.  It was nigh-impossible to engage in conversation due to the noise and all of the people around, and although I enjoyed the night, it was not quite as meaningful with all the din.

It led me to thinking about how Hillel and other organizations on college campuses have a spike in attendance at the beginning of the year, but once things get settled, the dedicated people will become regulars, which makes it much easier to develop friendships or acquaintanceships that are more likely to last.  (Wow, that was a long run-on sentence, just like what Rabbi Aaron said on that night… :p)

Interestingly, this last remark will segue nicely into tomorrow’s post — the conclusion of the Superfan sequence.


Today is the two-hundred and seventieth day of M.M.X.I.V.  That makes thirty-eight weeks and four days.

Today is the seventy-fifth day of the Character Building Trial.  That makes ten weeks and five days.


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