It has been many a down fall of both man and woman to indulge in something to the point of excess. So how does one maintain proper balanced living? What is the difference between balance and excess. Many of these terms go unseen in our faithless world.
In today’s overly stimulated society everything seems to go awry. Lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, and pride are the seven deadly sins. Each and every single one of them is played to excess, in advertising and day to day life. The modern society is worse off than the Roman empire ever was. Mark my words what we know and love will come to an end, an unpleasant end. How then do we overcome this carnival of temptation before it consumes us?
Lust, reduce and resist
Lust and sexual desires have ruined many a man and woman. This is perhaps one of the most difficult temptations for our species to overcome, if for no other reason than it feels good. To conquer this most basic of instincts requires us to understand our desire. In understanding we gain power. The body’s natural instinct is to procreate to reproduce. It is a necessity for survival of the species to reproduce but it does not mean we need to do it to excess. We have been given consciousness and we must not squander it on so cheap a thrill. The best and only way to overcome this is to not engage in the act and to not tempt ourselves. The more we expose ourselves to sexual things the stronger the need becomes. When we start to cut out contact and interaction with our sexual desires our urges will diminish and we will be able to gain control of ourself. So long as we remain a slave to lust we can never truly attain mastery of the self.
Gluttony, temperance and respect
The common belief of gluttony is that of over indulgence in food and drink. Gluttony applies to more than just food and drink it applies to consumption of most any kind. In a consumerist society this applies to most everything around us. To overcome our gluttonous tendencies we must once again lessen our intake. This is particularly true of the United States, the head of the consumerists. When our levels of excess have become too high we cannot accurately gauge how much food we need. Most of us go by how much we want or what is on our plate. The perfect meal will not leave you full nor hungry, we don’t necessarily need those 2000 calories. Most of us can survive with almost half that and live comfortable lives. The advantages for overcoming our gluttonous habits are many, the disadvantages are the last piece of cheesecake will go to waste. Respect the food you eat and recognize that it took time to grow and lives were sacrificed so you may continue.
Greed, give up and become free
Excess of material possessions, and more more more define Greed. The collector is never happy with his collection he is always looking for the rarest and most valuable thing to add to his collection. The millionaire still doesn’t have enough money. Material possessions weigh us down, when we are dead we have nothing. Wealth makes us afraid to lose what we have. A man with nothing to lose will act differently than the man with everything to lose. Wealth changes our thoughts and focus, with no wealth we are more apt to do what is in our true selves best interest. When we realize that material wealth does not define us that our actions define us we will finally begin to better help others.
Sloth, inform and take action
Apathy and laziness, these things represent sloth and describe our current state brilliantly. There is meaning to the phrase apathy kills. By taking the position of someone else will do it allows only those running on selfish instincts to rule us. Start by turning off the TV, pay attention and be observant. Every news station tells a different story it is up to us to find the truth. If we trust that our fellow man has our best interests we are sadly mistaken. Become active, show a want to or desire to do something other than nothing. We have enough couch potatoes.
Wrath, let go and redirect
Road rage, murder, and revenge, are wrath’s best friends. Road rage and revenge being the most common. Why do we feel the need to get angry or upset? The number one reason is we feel we have been dealt an injustice. Let go, getting angry is not going to help anything it will not change the wrong that has been done to us. By getting upset we let our emotions control us and waste energy and focus that could be better applied elsewhere. Wrath is not worth the trouble. We may feel empowered when we are angry but it is just an illusion.
Envy, be content and do not compare
I want what you have, like greed envy gives us the sensation that we can never have enough. That the grass is always better on the other side. We must learn to be content with what we have and not compare others to ourselves. Everyone’s life is different and when we take envy into account we lose sight of our will and our goals. Different people need different life experiences.
Pride, be humble
Pride and vanity are the ruin of many. Artists, athletes, and business men are perhaps the most eternally tormented by pride. Pride is saying I am better than you, or I could do that. It is difficult to take humility, but being prideful is being hurtful of others. The only way to defeat pride is to accept our differences and know ultimately the opinion of our fellow man does not define who we truly are.
We have all been guilty of one of these sins at one point. Being culpable of such an act does not mean we should give up. It just means that in recognizing our weaknesses we can now overcome them.