If these sins continue, so do the strongholds that help us overcome them. Let’s accept our weaknesses and work on being better.
Human beings face challenges that, according to some, they have never had to face before. However, humanity remains essentially what it always was and, therefore, we continue to carry the same old mistakes and face the same destructive temptations every day, even though these have, thanks to technology and other conquests, a new aspect. This is how they are in effect today:
LUST: SHOPPING AS AN ESCAPE
Classically, lust referred more than anything to sexual excesses. It is not in that sense that it seems to me that lust could be a problem for our planet, except when we talk about sex addiction, that is, the genitalization of existential dissatisfaction.
But let’s understand this “sin” more literally; as the interdependent relationship of happiness and goods, of possessions and security, of comfort and luxury.
The middle class (although attacked and impoverished) continues to be in our current society the main engine of the consumer economy and, as such, it has become the preferred recipient of marketing and advertising; it targets your weaknesses and dissatisfactions to sell you almost any product .
Believing that these objects, luxuries and glitters define how successful, attractive or happy you are carrying a danger to which, especially today, we are all exposed.
GLUTTONY: ANTHOLOGY OF DISORDERS
Gluttony is historically a synonym for gluttony that could roughly be defined as the compulsion to gobble it all up.
It is not food, however, that most of us pretend to gobble up more. It is the gluttony of work, money, power; the monopolization of all the roles that must be fulfilled by a single person and to perfection.
Being good parents, great partners, effective workers, athletes, and “philosophies” can be too much. They are all rich and enriching spaces, but it will be necessary, as one would when faced with the various delicacies of a copious dinner, knowing how to dose what one takes so as not to end up choking or indigestion.
LAZINESS: LACK OF GENUINE MOTIVATION
The laziness that should concern us the most is not that of those who do not like to work nor that of those who, with a great deal of immaturity, pretend and believe that everything should be given to them just for wanting it.
The laziness that worries me as a therapist and educator is that of those people who have lost all motivation:
- That of those who, realizing that the results did not accompany their effort, have taken a step back.
- The one of those who were expelled from the market by savage competition and gave up the fight.
- And, especially, I am disturbed by the supposed laziness (which is not such) of those who, seeing their dreams disappointed, have stopped dreaming.
In my opinion, all these unmotivated human beings are called to occupy an important place if we are to transform our world into a better place. Those of us who believe that doing is a consequence of being, and not the other way around, must put ourselves at the forefront of new movements. Failure to do so will be a sin that we will all pay for.
GREED: THE INABILITY TO SHARE
The new sin of greed is not connected with the fact of accumulating wealth, but rather with the fear of having nothing tomorrow, that there will not be enough for everyone, of the search for the security that having too much provides.
The world that comes to us needs men and women who put greed aside and open up to share with their neighbors the little they have and how much they have learned, or vice versa.
ANGER: THE RISING WAVE OF VIOLENCE
I have once defined it as the sin of a thousand disguises: with a mask of intolerance, rancor, revenge, accumulated frustration, repression and even a demand for justice.
It is a dangerous feeling, especially when it turns against oneself (as a person, as a couple, as a family, as a country).
The demands placed on us by the environment are many and we must put into play an extra dose of tolerance, patience and respect.
These attitudes, combined with the ability to accept frustrations and make friends with the acceptance of one’s own limitations, will be the first tools to fight against anger. The following will begin by discovering what is behind some of their masks.
ENVY: SPYING INSTEAD OF LIVING
Dante Alighieri wrote that in hell the envious had their eyelids sewn up so that they could not see and desire what others had. Today, in a world marked by the flag of lack of privacy, the alien is exposed, shown and even illuminated.
Fighting against this tendency will mean, on the one hand, abandoning the myopic concept of “you or me” to return to the cooperative spirit and, on the other, stop being aware of so much straw in someone else’s eye.
PRIDE: THE PRAISE OF VANITY
This last sin is expressed today in a unique way: in the desire to remain young, to be beautiful, to conform to the aesthetic models that society imposes.
If we give in to the arrogance of thinking that we can have the ideal body, the dream appearance and overcome time , we will forget that each stage has its beauty and its meaning, and the door of a life in fullness will be closed to us, beyond some wrinkles, some Michelin or some (many) years lived.
However, since we are talking about aesthetic vanity, it is worth remembering that your dream figure is, indeed, within your reach, just waiting for you to decide to conquer it. It is about, neither more nor less, to make a word come true and internalize a concept, that of acceptance. If you could accept that your dream figure of your ideal body and your best age are what you are today, your most precious fantasy would come true in an instant.