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Index Of The Seven Deadly Sins Links:
Although popularized by the epic poem, The Divine Comedy (Divina Commedia) by Dante, the classification of the Seven Deadly Sins had an even earlier origin.
The version I am using as the basis of this series of posts will date back to the 6th Century AD using the nomenclature of the Catholic Pope, Gregory the Great.
These sins are ordered from the least deadly to the most egregious (and this series of posts will follow the same ordering).
The second Deadly Sin was coined Gula (later donning the name of Gluttony)
The sin of Gluttony is most closely associated with food.
However any act where there is behaviors of excess fall in the purview of Gluttony.
“And recently, we installed another word in its place which, to their minds, has a wholly positive connotation. We say ‘Gluttony’. They say ‘Consumerism’.” ―
Gluttony is essentially the arch nemesis of moderation.
Even Frugalism/Minimalism, which can be noble endeavors, can fall into the realm of Gluttony if taken to the extreme.
We have all heard of the phrase, “Glutton for punishment,” and that certainly could apply to those individuals who become so self-deprecating that they are doing more harm than good trying to reach financial independence.
This form of Gluttony is a lot less common than the one that plagues most individuals: over-consumption.
Acts of compulsion such as gambling or shopping also fall into the grips of Gluttony and both have often dire financial consequences.
“To be blessed and yet permit gluttony to blind me to the blessings is to banish myself to a life of unrelenting poverty even though I might be utterly engulfed in the embrace of a million marvelous blessings.” – Craig D. Lounsbrough
Marketing experts are astute on preying on these human emotions trying to get you to buy more of their product.
I am not immune to these traps and have often fallen to these methods of promoting gluttony.
My local grocery store often has a promotion where you have to buy 10 boxes of cereal to get $1 off each one.
Buy anywhere up to nine boxes and you are stuck with the regular price for each.
I fall for it hook, line, and sinker.
Do I need 10 boxes of cereal at one time?
But to take advantage of this promotion I am compelled to feed this sin of Gluttony and buy in excess of my basic needs.
Another common tactic by a seller is to offer free shipping if you buy more product that you originally intended to to reach a determined amount.
Many a product has laid to waste in my cabinets and pantry due to my brush with this form of Gluttony, with the financial implications far outweighing the savings in shipping.
As previously mentioned, most individuals associate Gluttony with food.
Food is definitely a weakness of mine and I have been known to indulge far more than I should when the opportunity arises.
As a radiologist, thankfully, I do not have many opportunities to attend drug rep dinners like my colleagues in other specialties.
But when I do get invited to a sponsored event, my dark vice of Gluttony appears front and center.
“Nothing helps gluttony along so well as eating food you don’t have to pay for yourself.”- Margaret Atwood
It is definitely an interesting behavior pattern I have noticed, but when I know that the food and drink I am about to partake in will be on someone else’s dime, I tend to go all out.
I order far more appetizers, drinks, and dessert than if it was just a normal night out (even though I could easily have afforded to).
I then truly epitomize the glutton whose belly becomes uncomfortably distended due to overindulgence.
The fact that the meal before me is free seems to trigger something in my brain to take advantage of the situation.
The same phenomena happens in a buffet line that I have paid for.
“Sometimes I had difficulty remembering that ‘All You Can Eat’ is not a personal challenge.” – Marika Christian
In my mind I am doing mental calculations, deducing that in order for me to come out ahead I need to eat a certain (quite large) amount (and also concentrate on the more expensive selections).
As I already try to minimize the amount of vegetables entering my body on any given day (so that I can make more room for God's creatures), my eating philosophy and that of the buffet game plan mesh quite well.-Xrayvsn Click To Tweet
I mentally feel better knowing that I came out financially ahead even though I actually end up feeling physically worse being overstuffed.
That is the sin of gluttony in a nutshell.
As I have hopefully pointed out, the sin of Gluttony is prevalent in this consumerist society, carrying with it financial implications that make the path to financial independence all the more treacherous.
Fortunately for every cardinal sin there is a corresponding heavenly virtue.
For the sin of gluttony, the heavenly virtue counterpart is Self-Restraint.
It is important to recognize our own weakness and what specific triggers there are that subject us to the sin of Gluttony and consciously make every effort to use self-restraint to minimize or perhaps even eliminate the detrimental effects.
If you are in search of financial help, please consider enlisting the service of any of the sponsors of this blog who I feel are part of the “good guys and gals of finance.”
Even a steadfast DIY’er can sometimes gain benefit from the occasional professional input.
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Interesting points about gluttony being extreme deprivation as well as extreme indulgence. I wouldn’t have thought of it that way, but it’s certainly food for thought. Food in moderation for thought mind you.
I fell victim to the same mentality “someone else’s dime” mentality last night when my company was buying dinner. I had dessert I definitely did not need because someoe else was paying for it. Now I’ll just pay for it on the scale.
“Food in moderation for thought mind you.” LOL. Yes moderation is the key to everything 🙂 Yeah, I took liberties with the minimalist type of gluttony with my take of glutton for punishment. Some people actually relish depriving themselves of stuff just to outdo others (extreme frugalism for example). Thanks again for checking out the post and appreciate the comment.
I like how you pointed out that you can go too far with frugality/minimalism as well. Balance is the key in all areas.
Thanks MD. Too much of a good thing can be bad as well as the opposite end of the spectrum. Moderation is pretty much the best approach but really hard to achieve with so many options out there.
I was led to think about FIRE as an expression of gluttony, the constant engorgement of schemes and raps and narratives and the affect that has on the reality of the glutton. In some respect it’s engagement in fantasy. How much discontent in one’s life and job hatred comes from engaging in that fantasy life and the biochemistry that fantasy produces in the brain? Temperance is the actual virtue countermanding gluttony and in some respect temperance is the key feature of obtaining FI but is FIRE pursuit consistent with temperance?
Great perspective on the FIRE movement and Gluttony. I admit sometimes it is easy to fall into fantasy picturing what life would be like when I can finally hang up the white coat. Dopamine can cause a lot of behaviors leading to Gluttony.
Over doing it in either direction can be a disaster. A life of deprivation vs one of forever chasing the next thing. In both cases gluttony prevents a balanced life.
Oh and I agree with your about the good thing. Free food tastes better.
Thanks for stopping by Kpeds. Yes free food has great appeal. It’s a shame radiology doesn’t get as much love from reps as other specialties. Lol
Obesity just hit 40% in America, it’s sad. Many people are addicted to food. I have compassion for them because so many “foods” are engineered to hook them. It’s like ‘engineered gluttony’.
That is a great point Dave. Food can definitely be classified as a drug. How many people are dependant on caffeine in the morning just to get them through the day? You can suffer withdrawals from caffeine just like any other drug. People get sugar highs and then crash back down as well. I like the concept, “engineered gluttony.” It really is the goal of most businesses to get the consumer hooked on their product to increase profits.
Yup. food can be classified as a drug. And unfortunately, there are a lot of drugs in food too. Most people don’t realize that a lot of commercially farmed meat has a ton of exogenous hormones and antibiotics– drugs and chemicals that are harmful to our gut micro biome, heart, and overall health. Meanwhile, sugars and processed food with chemicals and additives are very addicting. These foods make it too easy for people to be gluttonous. And like Dave, I have compassion for obese folks who fall prey to the food, agriculture, chemical, and drug industries. They’re all one in… Read more »
Great commentary DMF. It is indeed sad that the majority of Americans are overweight. Being unhealthy puts a huge strain on Healthcare as well.
Wonderful post, Xrayvsn. I loved the various quotes you were able to tie in. Discipline, whether fiscal or epicurean, is the bulwark against gluttony.
Have you considered a companion series of your recommended remedies to each deadly sin? 7 Habits for Health? I suspect you’d knock it out of the park.
Thanks CD for the always kind words. That is a great idea about the 7 Habits for Health. I definitely can use that idea in a future post. Thanks for the tip 🙂
Luckily, nobody buys me food anymore. The only problem now is my wife. She baked a ton last year. Cakes, cookies, pies, etc… We all gained weight. This year I asked her to cut back so we can go back to our normal weight. 2020 was very sedentary for us as well.
Having a supply of cakes, cookies, and pies might be deadly for me. LOL Don’t think I could resist.
Surprisingly I have been been able to drop some weight and keep it off during the fall/winter which is where I typically struggle. It is a never-ending battle.
Best of luck getting back to your healthy weight.