There’s a scene in the 1985 movie The Karate Kid where Daniel’s karate instructor, Mr. Miyagi, talks about commitment.
“Daniel-san, must talk. Walk on road. Walk right side, safe. Walk left side, safe. Walk middle, sooner or later, [makes squish gesture] get squish, just like grape. Here karate, same thing. Either you karate do, yes, or karate do, no. You karate do, guess so, [makes squish gesture] just like grape.”
In its proper context, Miyagi’s speech is good advice. Being only moderately committed won’t get you where you want to go. You might as well spare yourself the effort if you’re not going to do it right.
But life is bigger than any one goal. In the context of life itself, moderation has advantages. Various ideologies--whether political, economic, religious, or whatever--may demand complete loyalty, but in my experience honest dialogue and thoughtful discussion are almost always more fruitful than slavish adherence to a set of predefined teachings. Granted, there are many who see dialogue as a threat; walking in the center can open oneself to attacks from both sides. Sometimes it's hard not to feel squished like a grape. But that just underscores the necessity of open dialogue.