The world around us is far more complex than we can imagine. Human beings are complex creatures, and our circumstances are complex. From the moment a baby is born, as he catches sight of the light of the world; at that particular moment, he seeks to find himself and get hold of himself out of its confusion.We are by nature fearful and insecure creatures. We do not like what is unfamiliar or unknown. In childhood, liberation takes the direction of trying to get to the bottom of things, spying out the weak points of everybody and everything. It is well known that children have a sure instinct; therefore they like to smash things, like to rummage through hidden corners, pry after what is covered up and try what we can do with everything. As we grow up, to compensate for the lack of curiosity we were born with, we assert ourselves with opinions and ideas that make us seem strong and certain making our society almost entirely dedicated to the celebration of the EGO. This is when Morality comes into play.
Societies use ideas about what is and is not moral to create values that serve them well. In almost all cultures morality is the definition of good and evil – vices and virtues. I purposely focus on the vices as they are the keys to any redemption. They go as follows: Pride vs Humility, Envy vs Kindness, Gluttony vs Abstinence, Lust vs Chastity, Wrath vs Patience, Greed vs Liberality and Sloth vs Diligence. Each one of these vices has a thousand different ways of destroying a person:
Lust and its excessive desires and love shown in uncontrolled passions and pleasure seeking activities; often leading to sexual indecency and perversions. Triggered by what women and men see with their eyes
Gluttony and its over-indulgence and over consumption of anything to the point of waste.
Greed and its excessive need for the accumulation of wealth triggering disloyalty, deliberate betrayal, treason especially for personal gain, bribery, scavenging, trickery or manipulation of authority and hoarding of materials or objects.
Sloth and its unjustifiable apathy, discontent, joylessness, melancholy, depression, sadness and despair with one’s current situation.
Wrath and its inordinate and uncontrolled feelings of hatred and anger.
Envy and its inordinate desire to compare oneself to others in terms of money, looks, coolness, intelligence, popularity, or any number of categories.
Pride considered the original and most serious of the seven vices; the ultimate source from which the others arise. It is the excessive love of self with an inordinate desire to be more important than others.
On one hand, we understand the need to follow certain basic codes of behavior that have been in place for centuries. We try our best to live by them. On the other hand, we also sense that the world has become infinitely more competitive than anything our parents or grandparents have known. Life involves constant battle and confrontation. This comes on two levels. On one level, we have desires and needs, our own interests that we wish to advance. In a highly competitive world, this means we must assert ourselves and even occasionally push people out of position to get our way. On the other level, there are always people who are more aggressive than we are. At some point they cross our path and try to block or to harm us. On both levels, playing offense and defense, we have to manage people’s resistance and hostility. This has been the human drama since the beginning of history and no amount of progress will alter this dynamic. The only thing that has changed is how we handle these inevitable moments of friction in our lives.
Excerpt from the novel “Greener On The Other Side”