Anything in excess is unhealthy ?

Anything in excess is unhealthy ?

I have lived in India throughout my life. We have a temperate climate throughout the year.  It is mostly sunny and temperatures range in the mid thirties centigrade in most parts of the country.  We have got used to it and have acclimatised ourselves to this weather.  One interesting thing I have noticed is that our eating habits and even our clothing patterns are determined by the weather of the place we live in.  This is nature’s way of helping us to adapt to the vagaries of the weather.

Many of us tend to complain when it is very hot during summer.  We pray to God to keep the Sun away for a few days.  On the other hand when it rains in the monsoon, we eagerly look forward to the rains.  The environs are green and we enjoy it for some time.  But as the rains persist and our daily life gets paralysed, we pray to God to keep the rains away.  Three months of rains and cloudy and murky days make us depressed and we want the Sun to come out again.

It is an interesting cycle of life.  We hate the Sun when it is hot and hate the rain when the Sun does not come out.  We look forward to the winters to have some fun.  But when the temperature dips below zero degrees centrigade in some places we again regret.  So, heat, rain or cold is not tolerable, when in excess.  This implies that anything in excess is not good for life.   The earlier we realise it the better it is for us.

If we look at our eating habits also this axiom would be true.  We may like sweets and may enjoy eating them.  But if we have excess of sweets, it may be harmful for our health and at a later stage we may end up with diabetes.  This is also true for any of our habits and hobbies.  Walking is good for health.  But at the same if we over stress ourselves by going for endless walks every day we may harm our health more than benefit from it.

This means anything in life in excess may not be good for us.  We need to strike the right balance for everything.  It does not matter if it is food, hobbies or work.  We have to strike a balance between work and home.  If we over strain ourselves at work, our relationships at home could get impacted.  If we do not work hard and are content in spending more time at home and less focus on our work, our career could get impacted.

Even in life, we need to ensure that we do not go overboard on anything. This means that good life is all about balancing and optimising resources.  Excess of anything may be harmful.  We wish our kids to put on weight when they are babies.  But over weight and obese children may never be the healthiest.  It is up to us to draw the line for everything and know when we are crossing it.

In the photo above, the sun was welcome after a long long monsoon in Mumbai.

Life gives us enough opportunities and resources.  It is up to to manage it well.

S Ramesh Shankar

Excuses for everything


Almost every day begins and ends with excuses for most of us.  Let us start from the morning.  We refuse to get up from bed, when woken up by someone.  We blame the weather or the exhausting day at work on the previous day.  Then once we get up, we have an excuse not to go for the walk or the jog.  It’s raining – how can one go for a walk ?  Then we get late to work and when the boss enquires we have the common excuse of traffic congestion on the way.

Now that we are at work, do the excuses stop.  I do not think so.  When a customer calls us enquiring about a delayed delivery, we put the blame on manufacturing or some other department and explain in details how it is beyond our control.  When the customer asks as to why we did not call up and inform her, we have a box full of excuses.  We had the board meeting and two new product launches and how when we tried a few times, the customers’ phone was not reachable.

Let’s assume the day at work begins and ends with excuses.  Now, let’s move on to the gym.  As we reach the gym and our instructor enquires the reasons for our poor attendance, we have a long list of reasons.  We blame the weather, the boss, the spouse and of course the traffic is always a ready made excuse for almost everything in life.

What is interesting is that when we are late at work, we blame the traffic but when we have to go on a holiday, we are always on time to the airport never miss a flight.  We do not know how we invent excuses for things we do not enjoy but do not need excuses for things we do.

Now, let’s check at home.  We have a long list of excuses to return late from work.  Again the boss is handy and followed by heavy workload, customer visits, official dinner and so on.  We also have excuses to tell our spouse of how busy we were at work and as to why we could not call up home to inform.

We always have excuses to give our kids when they want us to take them out for a movie or to the park.  We promise to take them the following week and that week never arrives.  We have a host of excuses to postpone it multiple times till the children stop asking us or forget about their request.  

After we return home, we again have good excuses to tell our spouse as to why we could not pay electricity bills or water bills.  We have reasons to miss the doctor’s appointment.  We sometimes even forget our kids birthday party and have excuses to justify that.

It is like we may have an excuse for not wearing the seat belt in the back seat of a car as in the picture above ? We may say that nothing would happen in the back seat and nobody wears it anyway and hence why should I ?

Is life full of excuses ?  May be if we want it that way.  However, if we decide to take charge of ourselves, may be life would be different.  We have reasons to be happier.  We may not need excuses to justify our existence at home or work.  Life may be happier and cosier.

Let’s try it from today.

S Ramesh Shankar