Gluttony

I love food.  No, you don’t understand.  I can eat.  All of my friends share this same sentiment.  We even say we are “getting our FP on”, with “FP” standing for “fat pride”.  But there is a difference between eating and overeating.  To overindulge is something we all might have done on occasion.  Ever squeezed in dessert when you knew you were stuffed?  What about people who eat to the point that they cannot walk?  That is an example of gluttony.  Want to be utterly disgusted?  Check out this woman.  She wants, that’s right, she WANTS to hit 1,000 pounds.  Gluttony.  BUT gluttony is not only food related.  Some people (we like to call these people “attention-whores”) thrive on attention and being the center of the spotlight.  Some people thrive on fame and will do anything to obtain it.  Ever heard the phrase “glutton for punishment”?  Gluttony, though usually linked to food and over eating, is not only about food.

In my intro post concerning Greed, I stated that what fascinates me about the Seven Deadly Sins is that everyone can or has committed them without even thinking about it.  Large technology companies like Apple get a lot of their revenue for technology gluttons.  People who already have an iPhone, iPad, Macbook, but need the newest version.  They need the best.  They overindulge in technology. Gluttony.

How many of you are gamers?  How many of you spend money you could be spending on clothes or food on your online gaming subscriptions?  How many of you have been to midnight game releases?  How many of you have ignored friends or family because you were gaming?  Gluttony.

What about people who shop themselves into mountainous credit card debt?  Gluttony.

What about workaholics?

What about animal hoarders?

What about people who take vacations every month?

All addicts are guilty of gluttony.  Whether its cigarettes, alcohol, anything.

Gluttony is, simply put, overindulgence in ANYTHING, and if you broaden the definition to include everything that you can “overdose” on, we are all gluttons in some way, shape, or form.  Gluttony leads to waste.  People’s lives are wasted because they over eat.  Money is wasted on products we don’t actually need, but want.  Time is wasted searching for the spotlight.  Try your best to live within your means.  This post relates to the one about greed.  We become gluttons because we are greedy, because we want and can have more.  Maybe if we stopped overindulging, we wouldn’t be as greedy, and the world would be a better place.  Dream big.  =P

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Greed

You have $100.  It was just given to you, no strings attached.  What do you do with it?  Go shopping?  Pay off some bills? Vacation?  How many of you would donate all of it?  Why not?  You didn’t earn this money.  The only reason it’s yours is because it was given to you, not because you worked for it.  The answer to my question is “because you are greedy”, and we all are.  To say you are not greedy is an outright lie.  No one is self-less, but we all have times where we took a little more than we need it, be it money or something else.  We are all guilty of greed at some point or another, and that is why it is one of the Seven Deadly Sins.

The Seven Deadly Sins have always fascinated me because, unlike something like the Ten Commandments, these are things we are all guilty of at some point or another.  This post is the first in a series (of 7, of course) where I will walk through my perspective on each of the 7 sins while simultaneously re-evaluating myself and hoping to make myself a better person.

I remember being a child and taking an extra cookie during snack time.  I remember racing out to the playground so I could get the best swing.  I’ve walked down the street and ignored the homeless who beg for change when I know I have a few dollars to spare.  I’ve bought two of the same shirt in different colors.  I’ve spent money I didn’t have through credit cards to purchase things I didn’t need, but wanted.  I’ve changed the channel during commercials asking me to help feed the children or rescue homeless animals.  I’ve committed the sin of greed on multiple accounts.  I could probably fill volumes with single accounts of my misbehavior.  I’m sure anybody could do the same.

We don’t commit greed because we are evil or self-centered.  We commit it because your entire life is about competition.  Be the best.  Have the best.  Dress the best.  Eat the best.  Do all of this and you will be superior to everyone else.  We try to teach our children the ideals of sharing, taking turns,  and never taking more than you need.  Yet do we teach by example?  Do we share our pennies with the poor?  Do we offer to drive if someone else is always ready, willing, and able to give us a ride?  Do we make purchases in moderation?  How many of us have closets that are full when we only wear maybe half of what we own?  How many of us toss out food because we bought more than we could use before it went bad?  How many of us would give that bag of chips that we don’t really want and came with our sandwich to the man sitting on the corner with the cardboard sign?  How many of us would stop printing our hundred page paper to let someone photocopy a single document?

It may seem like an overly Utopian idea, but maybe everyone should go out of their way to actively avoid being greedy just once a day, even once a week if that’s all you can muster.  Let the person into your lane versus speeding up and blocking them.  Give the woman standing on the side of the road a dollar.  Buy on dress instead of four.  Sit through that phone conversation as your friend goes on and on, and be supportive of their bad day.  Just the smallest change, just one little thing different in your day, could make a world of difference.

And remember, greed isn’t only about money.   Time.  Material possessions.  Food.  We can be greedy with all of these things.  You don’t have to be completely generous 24/7, but we don’t have to put ourselves first all the time either.  That is the essence of greed-putting yourself first when you don’t have to.