I have never been much concerned about sinning. I have never been religious, but am, what I consider to be, a reasonable person, a somewhat responsible citizen. I have never been struck by God’s Wrath, or lightning; never been in jail; never been sued; I’ve voted every fall; and never needed to fight a duel to defend my pride. But how about other facets of my character? Let’s take a look at these sins.
WRATH: Yes, I admit, I do have a temper, and I usually defeat myself because of that. A temper leads to irrationality. I fixate on a statement or an idea, and then will not back-down even when I realize I am wrong. I’ll work on this.
GREED: I’m not alone here. We are all greedy. There are two basic principles of economics: “Man tends to satisfy his desires with the least effort”, and “Man’s desires are never satisfied”.
You say you’re not greedy, but do you think Proposition 13 should be reversed? Of course you don’t if you are paying only ten percent as much property tax as your neighbor, but getting the same benefits. We all like to get something without having to work for it, so don’t feel sinful; it’s just human nature.
SLOTH: Guilty! I wallow in it. I am lazy and unkempt much of the time. Lying on the couch doing crossword puzzles, and dozing off now and then, is my favorite pastime. Why fix the roof if it’s not raining. My wife says “you haven’t changed that shirt in three days.” My reply, “I use lots of anti-perspirant.” And I dislike shaving. Dragging the razor over my marbled chin invariably brings blood; and a septic pencil stings, and pieces of toilet paper drop off. Besides, a stubby beard looks manly.
PRIDE: Do I have pride? Yes, I suppose I do. Am I proud of my achievements? Well, yes, some of them. But, truth is, I don’t worry much any more of what people think of me. In fact, I rather enjoy being an enigma; the joy of growing old.
ENVY: How true, how true! I am envious of people who can take the floor and mesmerize their audience with their eloquence. The other evening I was at a dinner party. During cocktail time, economics was being discussed. One gentleman had the floor and was telling us how to solve our fiscal problems. The guests sat, leaning forward in their chairs, drinking in his words, instead of their cocktails. During a pause I tried to break in, but was beaten out by the elderly lady sitting next to me. Her analysis, too, I thought was faulty, but the other guests were intent on hearing her out. Then, with complete abandon, and I fear, poor manners, I stood up and loudly took over the floor, ready to give them the right answers, when, alas, the hostess walked in and stated that dinner was ready. “George,” she said, “ you’re sitting in that far corner. It’s a rather tight spot, and you’ll have to climb under the table to get there. But don’t worry; I’ll bring you a plate.”
I don’t get no respect.
GLUTTONY: Here, I feel I am in good standing. There was a time when I would overindulge, but I have learned my lesson. I can refuse seconds, and sometimes I do. I used to be a glutton for martinis, but there, too, I have gained wisdom, and only sip one, unless I am ensconced in my armchair at home.
LUST: Lust! What a lovely word: a smooth, slippery beginning, and then a snappy ending. Just the sound evokes a stirring in the loins. All of these “deadly” sins are derived from teachings of the Catholic Church, and, of course, not being a Catholic, I’m exempt, but I recognize that a little softening of the foregoing, so-called, “vices” can be a stabilizing force to the community.
If you are ashamed of your lustful thoughts, enjoy them instead. You can’t help it. Perhaps you should worry if your thoughts turn into inappropriate action, for that’s where you might get into trouble. But, as I said, you’re not responsible for your thoughts and your sexual drive, for you are a part of nature. All living entities in nature; amoebas, insects, diseases, mankind, have a common drive, a common gene, superior to all other genes. That gene says, “Reproduce! Unless we reproduce, our genus, our species, will disappear. Your duty is to be born, mature, reproduce, and then die. After that others of our family will carry on.”
Birds do it, and fly; bees do it, and die,
Dogs do it and stick to it,
So why shouldn’t you and I?
George W, Parker