Seven Deadly Sins

The stories of mayhem, conflict and atrocities of all kinds brought to us by the press and media continue unabated all around the world. The sad part of it all is that because it is recurrent daily newsfeed, we have come to accept it as normal. This is how we have learnt to justify our abdication of moral responsibility for bringing about a new order to life.

For how long can we continue to delude ourselves? For how long can we continue to tolerate a broken, fragmented and divided world around us? Our thinking has to grow. We have to identify and destroy in ourselves the seeds of hatred, indifference and insecurity if we have to recreate peace-loving societies not tainted by prejudice towards fellow humans who may not appear to be like the rest of us.

When we begin again to respect life, we will realise that after the game is over, the black and white kings, queens, bishops, knights, castles and the pawns end up in same one box, all together. There is no separation in the end.

The society has to transcend its failing social values and transform itself into being underpinned by and committed to the spirit of service and contribution, integrity and dignity, kindness and fairness, benevolence and magnanimity and love and compassion. Several decades ago an enlightened soul drew the world’s attention to ‘The Seven Deadly Sins’ which, it was said, will destroy our civilisation if we fail to put the common good of all at the centre of everything we do.

Here they are:

Wealth without work – deriving something for nothing without any added value; manipulating lawmakers and administrators so wealth can be accumulated without paying taxes; using tactical methods to manipulate markets and prices; hatching Ponzi schemes; selling fake and dangerous products; benefitting from Government programmes through devious methods; being steeped in get-rich-quick arrangements to accumulate wealth without commensurate effort for creating real value to benefit others.

Knowledge without character – character and intellect not aligned with commonly accepted values; knowledge misapplied to commit cybercrime; fairness, compassion, loyalty, kindness, dignity seen as worthless attributes of the weak-minded.
Politics without principle – abuse of public trust; political chicanery and misuse of power of position for personal gains; misleading public with weasel words; failing to fulfil promises made to electorate; showing no grit for fear of loss of position.
Religion without sacrifice – individuals being active in the administration and popularisation of a religious organisation, but inactive in its gospel; more concerned with advancing personal status in the organisation and adding no value to the moral standing of the society.
Science without humanity – unchecked advancement in and application of science to replace human effort with machines; blind to the possibility of humans being enslaved to technocracy, and to the possibility that one day an army of robots may be unleashed on masses; using science and technology to promote godless materialistic society.
Business without ethics – favouring the free workings of economic system independent of the negative impact on the moral foundations of the society; employing social media to control and manipulate all aspects of life even with misleading data and fake news; parading success with unchecked profiting without any regard for the harmful effects on employees, customers and the society in general; sophistry, bribery and corruption seen as essential components of business.
Pleasure without conscience – indulgence in pleasure pursuits with callous disregard for the social responsibility for the wellbeing of others; failing to exercise basic social mores; not being considerate and selfless; assuming the right to abuse children and women; basically side lining conscience in the matter of governance of one’s behaviour.

It would be self-evident to a deep thinking mind that most of the unconscionable behaviour we experience daily in the modern times can be imputed to one or more of these deadly sins, the off-springs of warped thinking driven by ephemeral social values rather than the ever-constant natural principals. If we put our thinking in proper order and accept that this is not a problem to be addressed at political or social leadership level, but at an each individual mind level, then we will begin to see a transition to a better world for the posterity.

Thoughts are a dress rehearsal of what is to come. Clear, unbridled and altruistic thinking replete with benevolence, compassion, integrity and gallantry will be a good start. The only effort involved here is to change the way we think, be fully aware of it and look at the world without the need for more and more stringent codes of behaviour which have never worked.

Anil Kumar
Langshott Leadership Foundation