The Golden Mean is a concept put forward by this guy named Aristotle (you may have heard of him) about 2350 years ago in Greece. (Yes, I did use a calculator to figure that out…so what.) It’s the idea that a virtue (the highest good that one can aim for) lies directly in between two vices. (the Vices being either an excess or a deficiency of the Virtue itself)
For example: Kindness is a virtue, in between the vices of over-accommodation (people pleasing), and cruelty.
Some people get caught up in the wording and argue that this is wrong because one can never have an excess of kindness, and therefore the Golden Mean has no real application. So here is my slight variation on the same theme:
Kindness is achieved when we find the perfect balance of empathy and self-respect. However in excess of empathy and deficiency of self-respect, it becomes over-accommodation. In excess of self-respect, and deficiency of empathy, it becomes cruelty. (See below)
Kindness is still directly in between the two vices, but it’s not “too much kindness” that becomes a vice, it’s an unbalance of the ingredients that, when balanced, make up kindness.