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The Seven Deadly Sins

Tressa O'Lear

Reading the works of Dante Alighieri, a

Florentine poet from the Middle Ages, and

attempting to understand his interpretations

of the seven deadly sins got me thinking about

how the seven deadly sins relate to the economic

crunch felt in most businesses today.

Regardless to your religious or spiritual convictions

it is difficult to see beyond these seven

to explain how we got where we are and what

it might take to turn us around.

Greed: How far to you want to dig in this

hole? It is what motivated most everyone to

subscribe to more,more and more. Dante

describes greed as disloyalty, deliberate

betrayal and theft through manipulation. How

interesting! When most everyone was breaking

their own records of making money and

spending it just as quickly was there constant

news of betrayal and disloyalty? I think

so. If money could be considered a drug, it

was epidemic through what was said, implied

and withheld to make a mighty dollar and get

the fix. What happened to,”What you reap,

you sow”?

And then we have Envy, which Dante

defines as “insatiable desire of material goods

and/or the wish another be deprived.” Many

people one upped the neighbor with SUVs that

were designed to be bigger and less efficient,

which caused gas prices to increase beyond

belief. No one seemed satisfied with the status

quo when suddenly the house they once were

proud to own had to be replaced with a bigger

and more affluent one. Has there ever been a

time when envy of another brought peace or

serenity? Which do you think is more important?

Sloth is defined as the representation of

one’s own failure to utilize your personal talent

and gifts. When the money was rolling in,

what did you do to earn it? When your bank

account was fat, when you longed for more and

more, how did you develop your talent and

gifts? Or did you merely take the blessings as

dues and smugly enjoy the ride?

Dante went on to explain Gluttony as

“over-indulgence and over-consumption.”

What else could best describe the early years

of the 21st century? Most everyone seemed

insatiable, nothing being enough to feed the

savage beast. Just as you must exercise your

body for maximum effect, you should exercise

discretion over your finances and desires.

Obsessive or excessive thoughts or desires,

particularly of a sexual nature. That is the

description of Lust. Life’s experience shows

that the first time you

do anything you may

feel anxiety. But from

there you must go farther

out the limb to

experience the same

rush or high or excitement.

Have we

become a nation of no

moral integrity when pornography is rampant

on the Internet, vulgarity fuels our television

and sex sells everything from chewing gum to

fast food?

The vanity, narcissism and the desire to be

more attractive to others defines Pride. At a

recent board meeting I jokingly said,”You can’t

trust anyone under 50,” as a play on my

Boomer generation’s idea that no one over 30

was to be trusted. Are we going to erase the

history right out of our faces with numerous

injectables that may, in fact, freeze the lines,

along with every other expression you feel?

You should preserve the machine that is you.

To clone us all into frozen Barbies is hardly the

answer and is somewhat reminiscent of the

Stepford wives.

And I shall end with what many are feeling

over the situation you got yourself into

Wrath. Dante says wrath is the inordinate and

uncontrolled feelings of hatred and anger, the

denial of the truth.

Who are you angry

with: the big business

you feel has done you

wrong or yourself for

the greed, envy, sloth,

gluttony, lust and

pride you heaped

upon your plate without

thinking of or understanding the consequences

of the hole you were digging?

Acceptance must be the answer. To right

the wrong, to place the blame where it truly

belongs and get yourself back in the game of

life with a newfound peace. That will require

acceptance of the part you played to create

your own personal hell.

No government, no candidate, no bank and

no loan can bail the masses out. You must

accept your own creation and work towards

building a future that is based on reality and

not commerce.

Tressa O’Lear is president of Together, an

introductions service, in Reno. Contact her

at 824-0200 or togethernv@aol.com.