Lessons from Myths, Legends and Fairytales: Part 1: The Goldilocks Principle (Golden Mean)

This is the start of something that has long fascinated me, the lessons we can learn from myths, legends and fairytales. Beyond the usual we glean from Aesops fables, I am looking at stories from Rumplestiltskin to Sisyphus, but let’s begin with Goldilocks.

Are you all sitting comfortable, then let us begin…

Although Artistotle is credited with suggesting that virtue or happiness is achieved when we find the balance (or golden mean) between between two extremes of excess and deficiency, this idea has been captured across time and cultures: from the wisdom of Buddha, Confucius and yes, even fairytales like Goldilocks and the three bears.
The ‘golden middle way’ is the desirable middle between extremes of excess and deficiency, it is not in the exact middle but rather at the ‘golden mean’, which depending on the context, could sometimes be closer to one extreme than the other.

Courage is the balance between recklessness and cowardice.

Confidence is the balance between self-deprecation and arrogance.

Generosity is the golden mean between extravagance and stinginess.

Patience is the golden middle way between impulsiveness and apathy.

Honesty is the golden mean between brutal bluntness and deceitful flattery.

Tolerance is the balance between intolerance and indifference.

Open-mindedness is the golden middle way between gullibility and close-mindedness.

Temperance is the balance between indulgence and self-deprivation.

Generosity is the golden mean between stinginess and profligacy.

Assertiveness is the balance mean between passivity and aggression.

Ambition is the golden middle way between apathy and obsession.

Whilst I am not advocating Goldilock’s style of illegal breaking and entering, the Goldilocks principle encourages us to find the balance between extremes in thoughts, emotions and behaviour, offering us a compass to navigate and find equilibrium, empowering us to make better choices. When we embrace the golden mean, we are better able to resist these external influences and stay true to our true selves.

Find that balance.
Have enough.
Be enough.

#goldenmean #goldilocksprinciple #balance