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Consider This

By LC Van Savage

Seven Deadlies And Seven Cures

Letís talk about sin, OK? Itís not such a bad thing for some, itís not such a good thing for others. And, they say (you know, the ďtheyĒ somewhere in the sky) they say there are only seven sins, and the adjective they put before the word ďsinsĒ is always ďdeadly.Ē

I didnít know one could actually die from those sins. Well, maybe the gluttony one. But when you come right down to it, is there any other kind of lifeís ending other than ďdeadlyĒ? None that Iíve ever heard of. Anyway, I guess it means if one partakes of these seven sins, one will suffer an untimely deadly, a too-early deadly or worst of all a lingering, nasty deadly. Bad business, that.

But this is confusing to me. Weíre all going to die anyway, so how are we to know if we died because of giving in to those seven sin things, or if it just sort of happened, you know, naturally. Oh well. Life is all about mystery.

As most of us know, the seven deadlies are --letís see if I can remember them without having to look them up -- OK, sloth, gluttony,Öwell thatís about the only two I can remember. I canít remember the others but those two are my favorites, perhaps because Iím really very good at them. Iíll go look up the other five. Oh, I remember another one; GREED. I can pretty well work that one into my daily life, but I struggle to not let people catch me at it.

Now then, the rest of the deadlies: PRIDE: Thatís the excessive belief in oneís own abilities. Frankly Iíd always thought that was being self-confident, making things happen when all the world says, ďFuggedabowdit. You canít possibly do that!Ē and then you do it.

Next comes ENVY: Thatís the desire for other peopleís stuff. Thereís something wrong with that? Itís a sin to feel envy? Thatís like saying feeling jealousy is a sin. I mean how does one control those natural, normal feelings? I donít see any sin stuff there. Itís all in how you deal with it. Itís not so sinful to envy a neighborís spankiní new Mercedes sports car for example, but it is definitely sinful if you sneak over at night and in a fit of serious envy, you key it.

Next? GLUTTONY; thatís not cool, overstuffing, but easy to do, right? It means one crams down far more than is needed. I agree, although milk chocolate is always exempt.

Then comes LUST; if you donít know about lust, then you are either under 7 or over 107. In a nutshell, itís craving bodily activities, usually with other peopleís bodies. Next we have GREED, or avarice. It means we want too much. Thatís a tough one too. Iíll wager that even cave folk wanted more yak and bison entrails than they already had. So maybe we should forgive ourselves for the occasional stab of greed that comes over us every now and again.

Then thereís ANGER. Wrath. Hard to define. Anger can be a real indulgence and probably should be lumped in with pride or gluttony or even lust when you think about it. Itís something that people occasionally practice because theyíd prefer to be pissed than to be loving. Yeah, thereís a lot more to the anger thing, but like it or not, itís nonetheless a sin.

Lastly thereís SLOTH; pretty obvious, and my all-time favorite. After gluttony, of course. Basically it means the avoidance of work. Thatís a sin?? Youíre kidding. Say it ainít so. Iíd always thought cleverly avoiding work was a sort of gift.

But donít worry. If youíre doomed to the deadlies, help is out there. There are actually seven heavenly virtues so if you work on them, you might be able to cancel out any of the seven deadlies in which youíve indulged. The virtues are HUMILITY, KINDNESS, ABSTINENCE, CHASTITY, (theyíre kidding) PATIENCE (I lose) LIBERALITY (isnít that a political party?) and DILIGENCE (too hard.) `Humility cancels out pride, right? And kindness takes the air out of envyís tires or so they say, although personally Iíve known a lot of very kind envious people. Abstinence ruins a really great gluttonous Sunday afternoon barbeque. Chastity really drains absolutely all the fun out of lust, patience all but wrecks the joy of throwing a good, healthy angry temper tantrum, liberality they say, erases greed but that one I just donít get at all, and lastly, diligence truly destroys a lovely lazy weekend of doing a lot of slothful nothings.

Iím not so sure which of those two competing seven-fold groups of indulgences I lean toward because frankly many of them make a great deal of sense on both sides of the moral dividing line. I guess Iíll just ignore the lot of them.

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