7 Deadly Sins : The Way Out

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Here’s the famous classification of sins that were originally used in early Christian teachings to educate and instruct followers about morals and sinning. I guess it applies a lot in our daily lives.

Lust

Lust is excessive desire for sexual release. Seeing others as a “means to an end” for the fulfillment of our desires turns others into objects, which is bad. Why? Cause it’ll make us fake, selfish and break the feeling of community with others in a human relationship. You may not keep your clothes on long enough to figure out whether you have anything in common. You’re also unsure if the future brings true love. However, there’s a way out. Turn lust into love.

  • Relax, shift a gear lower
  • “Lust has to do with hormones and requires no work. But there is no safety net with lust,” says relationship expert Bonnie Eaker Weil. “Love takes time to develop, so go slowly. Don’t give into your lust if you can avoid it—that is, if you want more than a booty call”. To avoid overly charged environments, go for lunch dates, a morning walk in the park rather than dinner or night meetings involving alcohol that may lead back to someone’s apartment.

  • Taking it up one notch
  • After a few outings, you might find your date interesting. When dating, you’ve enjoyed yourself very much and have thought of bringing things up one notch. “Let this person know where you stand, instead of trying to fish around and find out where he or she stands, which never works,” says Sharyn Wolf, author of So You Want To Get Married: Guerrilla Tactics For Turning A Date Into A Mate. “Say something like, ‘The level of chemistry here is intense, and that makes me curious if there’s something more here.’ That way you’re just throwing it out there rather than putting on the pressure.” If your date responds with “I feel the same way,” then you may well be on your way to a relationship.

  • On saying ‘I love you’
  • You’ve spent a lot of time with this person, you feel happy and you are sure you wanna spend a long, long time in a long, long relationship with this person. It’s time to say those 3 words. But when? The general rule of thumb is to say it when you’re doing something passionless. Separating ways after an afternoon lunch or sitting around watching lousy comedies. Why? Cause these are the moments when a solid relationship is really built.

Gluttony

Unnecessary and unreasonable overindulgence in food and drink. Reflects a lack of belief that all of tomorrow’s needs will be met. Mollifies the fear of not having enough with a trust that all needs will be satisfied. So how do we know if we’ve been glutonious? Our bodies will let us know, by getting sick and by getting overweight.

  • Exercise
  • Use the stairs instead of the elevator. If the destination is at the 20th floor, stop the elevator at 15th and walk up to 20th. Go for morning/evening walks during the weekends, join a gym or get friends together and play sports like badminton, tennis, etc. What does exercise do? Reduces the risk of developing and/or dying from heart disease, high blood pressure, developing high blood pressure, high cholesterol or the risk of developing high cholesterol, developing colon cancer and breast cancer, developing diabetes and etc. That 30 minutes each day will improve your life’s mileage.

  • Be in command
  • Your body belongs to you. Make sure things are taken in moderation. I tell myself that I can only have potato chips when I’ve successfully done 4 days of gym work. I reward myself by choosing one weekend as a reward to my weekday success. This act encourages discipline. Also when eating, quit before feeling stuffed. When snacking, quit after a while.

Greed

Defined as a selfish desire to obtain money, wealth, food, material possessions or any other entity more than one legitimately needs. Arises from a need to compare with others in order to feel good. For example, peer pressure during my school days have pressured me to keep up with friends. For the fear of not feeling accepted, I found means and ways to get that pair of Airwalk, Levi’s and Samsung handphone. Thanks to the internet, I’ve found ways to make giving a habit.

  • Selflessness
  • I gave away my time to be the backstage crew of a play during my days in university. Lending my ears to a friend when he needed me most, although exam is just a day away. Selflessness can also be practiced by being more concerned about the success of a joint activity rather than on yourself.

  • Generosity
  • The Christians encourage generosity when it comes to the giving of tithes. Practicing generosity weekly keeps greed away. Being generous pays in the long run as we become less and less attached to objects of our desire, especially money.

  • Contentment
  • If you are not contented with what you have, you will never be contented with what you would like to have. Learn to smile and accept that most things in the world are out of our control. Accept that it is our choice to be content with what we have. Of course there is no objections to enjoying and sharing the beauty, pleasures and objects of the material world. Problems with greed only arises when we mistakenly believe that the source of happiness is external rather than from within.

Sloth

Defined as avoiding work or exercise. Doing nothing produces nothing and can create a lot of harm. So how we spend our days is how we spend our lives. Wasting time is like having fertile land and not planting anything. As a result, there is nothing to harvest. It takes a decision to change. Once it is decided, here are steps to take to be productive.

  1. List it
  2. List down what we need to accomplish every day. Cross it out once it’s done. Also, keep tasks in modular, manageable sizes. For example, if I have to write 3 blog articles a day, I’ll separate each item so that I can feel a sense of accomplishment after completing each article.

  3. Reward Yourself
  4. Make activities that you enjoy such as watching tv or playing PS2 as a reward for completing a small pile of work. For example, if I’ve done an article, I can play my PS2 for 20 minutes. Approach your parents and teachers to help you. Show them your goals and they may reward you for completing them. That should be inspiring enough.

  5. The place
  6. Find a place that is appropriate and desirable for us to achieve the goals. For example, if I’ve found a place to always study, then just sitting there will make me feel like studying. A quiet place in the house or a spot in the local library should do it.

Wrath

Extreme anger. An emotional response to disagreement, dispute or conflict. Being unable to bear the object or having the intention to cause harm is also anger. It is a destructive emotion that brings confusion and misery rather than peace, happiness and fulfillment. Emotions are structures in our brains and anger will always be there. The only way out is successful anger management.

Here’s a ten-step process to anger management :

  1. Accept that most things in the world are out of your control.
  2. Accept that it is your choice to get angry about those things.
  3. No one makes you angry.
  4. Life is unfair. Waste no energy lamenting or trying to change that fact.
  5. No one likes to be around an angry person. No one feels like helping an angry person.
  6. So why be angry? Maybe you really don’t want your problems solved. Maybe you just want to complain and wail and gnash your teeth.
  7. Take stock of yourself. What do you want?
  8. You should smile more. Your face won’t break.
  9. Anger is a weed; hate is the tree. -St. Augustine
  10. Anger makes a rich man hated and a poor man scorned. -Thomas Fuller

Envy

An emotion that happens when a person lacks another’s superior quality, achievement, or possession and either desires it or wishes that the other lacked it. Do keep in mind that both jealousy and envy are not the same. Jealousy is fear of losing something to another person while envy is the pain or frustration caused by another person having something that one does not have oneself. It’s bad because we’ll ignore our blessings and focus instead on others’ status.

  • Materials
  • The most important thing in life is to love yourself. Understand that happiness is from within. Money can’t buy happiness. We may believe that possessions have the power to change our lives but actually they give us only a moment of elation.

  • Physical Impermanence
  • Nothing physical in this world lasts forever. A person lives and dies. So does a car, house, etc. Invest the time we have in making a difference in ourselves and the lives of people around us. Great people die but their spirit lives to inspire forever. For example, the way of life and living through Buddha’s eyes lived since fifth century BCE till today.

Pride

Pride is the refusal to be humiliated as well as joy in the accomplishments of oneself or a person, group, or object that one identifies with. How do you identify arrogant poeple? Henry Ford says, “Money doesn’t change men, it merely unmasks them. If a man is naturally selfish or arrogant or greedy, the money brings that out, that’s all.”

  • Be Humble
  • Charles de Montesquieu, a French politician and philosopher, once said “To become truly great, one has to stand with people, not above them.” Humility is the beginning of knowledge. For example, admitting that I do not know how to give a speech publicly and would like to learn about it, I’m already on my way to gaining knowledge. I will feed my mind and I will be grateful for that knowledge and I will seek more knowledge.

Seven Deadly Sins
The classification of vices

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