Once on a plane, the stewardess asked the gentleman next to me whether he preferred the lasagna or the chicken breast. He didn't quite understand the question, or she didn't understand the answer, but he answered:
She became even more confused, and then he became confused, and finally he reached up and took both entrees.
"No," she said strongly "you get either one or the other."
You see, he was wanting a complete meal.
Whereas in the US, and most parts of the world, pasta is a complete meal, for Italians pasta is just the first course. We were seated near the back of the plane, and the stewardess considered the situation, and finally the gentleman on the plane was able to keep his whole meal.
This happens in life sometimes, we fall short from either wanting too much, or settling for too little. We want everything our own way, or we are hesitant to ask for even a little bit more. So, most of us end up living our lives in the middle, neither excelling nor failing, never doing anything extravagant, either by it's excess or defect. We say sometimes that truth is found in the middle of things.
G.K. Chesteron said something about constantly living life this way. He said if we are always moderate, we are not being moderate in moderation. Moderation is good, but if we never embrace life in its fullness, if we never "go for the gusto," we are being immoderately moderate.
How many of us look at the grand challenges of life yet shrink back: We shrink back from a conversion in life, perhaps not embracing the Church because of what others might say or do. We hold back from considering a religious vocation, because a life of sacrifice seems too much, and we cannot also see that it is a lifetime of joy. We decide it is too much to think about having another child, ignoring grand and glorious feat that being pro-creators of a new child is. We even might hold back from splurging on a gift for our family once in a while, because saving money for an occasion like that takes time.
So, don't forget: Occasionally, when you are asked if you want chicken or pasta, it is OK to say