Seven Sins- Choose Long Term
June 1, 2021
During the weekend, I was reading an essay in which there was a passing reference to the Seven Deadly Sins. I tried to remember the seven deadly sins. The top of the mind recall was Lust, Pride, Greed, and Jealousy. I could not remember the other three sins.
“What are the seven deadly sins” quickly got me to the Wikipedia page Seven Deadly Sins
- Lust- An unbridled desire for sex, money, power.
- Gluttony- An overindulgence and overconsumption of anything to the point of waste.
- Greed- A desire to acquire or possess more than what one needs, especially regarding material wealth.
- Sloth- An unwillingness and absence of interest in any form of effort or exertion. Sloth also finds expression in terms like laziness, idleness, and indolence.
- Wrath-Having uncontrolled feelings of anger, rage, and hatred. Wrath can manifest when one is very impatient and not in control of emotions.
- Envy-It is the grief you experience in someone else’s prosperity- be it personality, status, wealth, or abilities.
- Pride- This is an irrational belief that you are better, superior to all others. Interestingly, pride is considered the most serious of the deadly sins because it is the root of the other deadly sins.
As I read through the contents of the Wiki page, something struck me as ironic. All these sins represent our “in the moment” short-term instincts.
- Someone is unable to control his or her baser instincts and gets into an affair. Lust could be exciting in the short term, but long-term pain is a given-broken relationship, the ruin of a marriage, Emotional trauma. These are inevitable.
- You overeat or overindulge, unable to control your Gluttony thanks to the immediate Dopamine rush. And the consequence of long term hangover effect of bad health and sickness is a guarantee.
- You have a choice to book your profits, but your greed holds you. You want more. Eventually, the investment tanks, and you lose all your capital.
- You are lazy and lethargic now, and your future will punish you.
- You are wrathful in the way you deal with people. When the chips are down, you have no support system. Everyone looks forward to you failing.
- You keep focusing on pulling the other person down because of envy, and you miss investing in your own development. The other person is in the meanwhile investing in developing herself. She gets all the breaks, and you are left out.
- The more prideful your behavior today, the more hubris will court you and teach you painful lessons in the future. The more the pride, the mightier the fall.
I realized that the Seven deadly sins represent the pulls of short-term satisfaction, which result in long-term pain.
Avoiding the sins means focusing on the Long term and not giving in to the pleasure and lure of the short term. The longer your long-term perspective is, the more you will be able to control your actions and not give in to your baser instincts, and the more rewarding your future will be.
Denying yourself the pleasures and sins of the short-term means rewarding yourself with a good life in the future.