the happy/golden mean

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golden mean

1. mathematics A division in a line such that the proportion of the whole to the larger area is equal to the proportion of the larger area to the smaller one. The mathematical golden mean has been employed in all manner of things, not the least in art, architecture, and even philosophy.
2. A general rule of moderation, avoiding both extreme excess and extreme deficiency. Some people will argue ardently against ever consuming alcohol, but to me, as long as you follow the golden mean, you'll be just fine. There are pros and cons to both approaches, so why don't we aim for a golden mean that incorporates elements of both?
See also: golden, mean

happy mean

A general rule of moderation, avoiding both extreme excess and extreme deficiency. Some people will argue ardently against ever consuming alcohol, but to me, as long as you follow the happy mean, you'll be just fine. There are pros and cons to both approaches, so why don't we aim for a happy mean that incorporates elements of both?
See also: happy, mean

the golden mean

the avoidance of extremes.
This phrase translates the Latin phrase aurea mediocritas , which comes from the Roman poet Horace's Odes.
See also: golden, mean

the happy/golden ˈmean

(approving) a course of action that is not extreme: To be honest, I don’t like either of the proposals. What we really need is a golden mean between the two.
See also: golden, happy, mean
References in classic literature ?
Imagine, I ought to have said to him, that you have the same system as the old peasant has, that you have found means of making your laborers take an interest in the success of the work, and have found the happy mean in the way of improvements which they will admit, and you will, without exhausting the soil, get twice or three times the yield you got before.