One day while loitering down the aisle of the super market and picking up requisite things for school picnic I brought a pack of biscuits for myself for tea time. I went home and opened the pack to taste few and was bowled over by the taste and rest is history! I can’t restrain myself from packing up my tummy with more and more of them, just as meals and in fact before, after and in between the meals. My tongue took control of my heart and in turn, my hand that used to open the shelves every half an hour (a little exaggeration 😉). A pack of 40+ biscuits lasted barely for three days. And one more pack was already ordered for next week and it lasted nothing longer than the previous one. The pace with which wrappers were going to the dust bin sent alarm bells for me. It’s time to put a check on my intake as health was at stake (read extra pounds), it’s time to put an act of Temperance vs my act of Gluttony.
What are Temperance and Gluttony? I will break it down to the simplest words to understand.
- Temperance – putting / showing restraint, holding self back, to show control.
- Gluttony – addiction/overindulgence used “usually” in reference to food and alcohol.
I have no shame to admit that I was moving in the direction of being a glutton. I might be miles away from those who are socio-officially branded as “alcoholics“, “gluttons” but I did move a few inches, that matters and needs to ponder over. Had I not used the weighing scale, had I not examined the wrapper out of guilt I would not have been able to turn myself away from the biscuit section of that supermarket 😁. I am the fortunate one whose sense prevails/revokes after hibernation before it’s too late. But I know (from really close quarters) many who are head over heels in the act of gluttony because of their indulgence and addiction to food and alcohol. So powerful is their urge to savor food or alcohol that it becomes the prime motto of their lives. They live literally to eat and drink. Family and responsibilities either take a back burner or the flame is completely put off. They beg, they borrow and they don’t hesitate to steal as well (especially alcoholics, drug addicts). In short, their indulgences could easily make them indulge in SIN too.
But the question is, does Gluttony be used in relation to food and alcohol alone? There’s nothing else we are heavily addicted to or indulge with? The answer is an absolute NO. For example, the moment we get up in the morning we check updates on our social media accounts and it continues till the time we go to the bed again. Checking up phones every five minutes is like checking an empty fridge knowing there’s nothing yet hoping to find something exciting 😁. This is an addiction! Nymphomaniac is overly addicted to sex. Many are overwhelmingly addicted to lead a luxurious life even if it means putting up a false prestige image with a corrosive base. I have read about silly cases where one family member beats or even murders the other family member just because he/she didn’t get the TV remote to watch their favourite show. It is silly for us but it’s all about serious addiction to Television. Then there are people who have a penchant for using abusive language as their expression, they simply have no control over their tongue, this is also a kind of addiction. When they hurt/ offend people with their foul language they one excuse to chanter “I didn’t mean it, you know my heart na”. And I can literally go on and on tipping you with more and more examples on Gluttony which of course doesn’t strictly adhere to the definition that is provided by a dictionary but fits the bill of Indulgences perfectly.
Overindulgence with or of anything reduces the analysing power of the brain. The judgment to choose between right and wrong paths diminishes or completely gets extinct. A petty example: a girl is a head over heels with the idea of being loved which is of course influenced by celluloid Romance instantly falls for the online proposal of an unknown and the result is not as beautiful as she fancied or might be ugly too. Her hunger for fairy tales romance has ditched her with her ability to fine judge. A drug addict won’t even budge to kill someone just to get money to buy him stuff for that day. Every addiction, every indulgence results in the same. We lose our senses and sensibilities. We end up in a state of an emotional coma which involves nothing but “Me, My, Myself” and is probably the mother of all crimes. In short Gluttony Is a Sin, Period. And this is not something that I have announced but it’s a vice, a branded sin as per every holy scripture that I know.
What’s the solution to this corrosion? Corrosion because it eats you away slowly. If alcohol & drugs finish you off physically other addictions doles out humanity, intellect, and wisdom from you. And these vices have a butterfly effect on others lives too, it isn’t rocket science that needs an explanation as to “How”. Exercising Temperance is the only solution with a very hard way to follow. In fact, there is an inverse relationship between Temperance and Gluttony (that’s why they are antonyms). You lack restraint you end up being an addict and vice versa. But what should one do to bring back lives to normalcy when the person himself/herself is not able to show some self-control? Role of Family and Friends comes to play here. Firstly accept the problem at hand because acceptance is the key! Next comes the path to travel to the destination.
- Discussing the issue – communication helps;
- Showing perseverance, persistence – holding the ground strong – a NO is a NO (in case of drug addicts and alcoholics).
- Taking professional external help (consultations, treatments).
- Some quality family time can work wonders.
These are the minimalistic points that I have mentioned. I am sure there’s more to it. I was waiting for your experiences and insights into this issue. Together we can find solutions to many problems we face in our lives collectively or individually. Opening up is what it takes.