The Seven Deadly Sins
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,
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.
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
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
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
Tressa O’Lear is president of Together, an
introductions service, in Reno. Contact her
at 824-0200 or email@example.com.
The cancelation of the 2020 event “severely affected operating revenue,” according to the Great Reno Balloon Race.