7 sins

7 sins

7 sins

Gurbax Rawat February 22, 2021

COVID-19 came out of nowhere and disrupted our world showing us that our way of life is fragile and can change at any moment. The basic narratives of society, government and world governing bodies have become questionable. The virus has been a great myth-buster, making it clear that it will be impossible to slide back into arrangements that existed before. What was true in January this year may not hold ground henceforth; the US is not great anymore, physical touch is no more a great love language, eating pork or beef isn't an issue, self-proclaimed spiritual gurus, astrologers and mystics are less than ordinary, not daring to make any statement.

Ever since the outbreak experts have been ignored and instead we hear arguments filled with fallacious reasoning. In most countries public perception is managed by venom-spitting news anchors who have little idea of journalism.

A lot has been said about a novel lifestyle that each one of us must adopt during and post the pandemic.

In the fourth century, the Church identified seven deadly sins; failings of character that were to be particularly condemned and avoided by all righteous people. What began as a tea time conversation with my niece eventually made both of us both reflect that life could become more blissful by simply maneuvering past the 7 deadly sins. Behavior we call sinful is never simply that. It represents an unfortunate first response to difficulty and distress that could be guided, forgiven and redirected towards nobler ends. Let us first understand what these 7 deadly sins are.

These are Pride, Envy, Wrath (getting very angry), Gluttony (eating too much), Lust (seeking sexual pleasures), Sloth (being lazy) and Greed. These were perceived to be severe faults of the soul that marked out a person, on the Day of Judgment, to be deserving of tortured bits of Purgatory. We may not use precisely such traditional, theological words today but our interpretation of such failings of character tends to retain a damning attitude. 

Let’s consider the seven sins and how to nullify them, as knowing is never enough.

Pride – We end up boasting because we’re so pleased with ourselves although this is a response to a feeling of inferiority and invisibility. We feel that others will think less of us unless we assert our greatness. That is why, of all people, the proud don’t need to be told they are terrible; because they know it already. Capability and humility must go hand in hand allowing the attitude of service.

Envy – Envy is a disgraceful way of confronting the idea that we are imperfect and need improvement. Envy should, ideally, be our teacher. We should note when it strikes us, sift through its signals and use them to work out our direction and purpose. The solution isn’t to feel guilty about our envy attacks but to understand what is missing from our lives.

Wrath – The mean things we say when we’re upset are almost never truly meant. They are the result of panic and anxiety. We call someone a stupid fool because we want to criminalize a person before forgiving him/her. Patience and developing interpersonal skills help in understanding the other’s personality type and perspective before acting or speaking.

Gluttony – We eat too many chicken wings and grilled sandwiches not because we’re greedy, but because we are emotionally starved. We want love far more than we want calories; we’re just at loss as to how to find it. Looking good followed by feeling good is a prerequisite to being good. The body must be treated like a temple making one fit to serve others.

Lust – A few want to keep jumping into bed with people not out of immorality, but because they are lonely. Sex is our epitome of connection and acceptance. The so-called ‘bad’ and erotic things some crave feel so exciting because they read them as proofs of someone else’s affection and acceptance of us. Lust displays lack of honor and self-esteem and therefore self-control must be exercised for one to be able to enjoy the goodness of life.

Sloth – Laziness is actually fear of failure. We might not succeed or we might find a task too hard, we may realize we’re not yet equipped to undertake it. These are understandable anxieties. We will begin when the fear of doing nothing at all trumps the crippling fear of doing something badly. A life full of zeal inspires philanthropy by placing the interest of others above all.

Greed – The powerful urge to take more than our fair share is really a reaction to a feeling of deprivation; we’ve felt so neglected and vulnerable, we require ever more. Our fear is so entrenched that we’re trying to keep it at bay by grabbing as much as we can, as quickly as possible. A charitable and generous nature is helpful and fuels the desire to share. Hoarding beyond need is a big sin.

Through trial and error we may have learnt to manipulate our wrongdoings but we seldom comprehend the implications of such manipulations. We need to locate our true vulnerabilities and encourage our self for reform with delicacy and humility. The solutions must appeal to our common sense which, unfortunately in many cases, are laying surrendered with pseudo spiritual cult gurus who constantly feed garbage to their followers. We must realize that we aren’t evil, so much as in a lot of pain in millions of permutations and combinations of LIFE.


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