Saturday, January 3, 2009

The Seven Deadly Sins -- Sloth

Well, expateek was on a roll yesterday. After her scathing Anger -- told through the artistic medium of socks posting, she wrote most of another post on Envy, and at that point she was starting to get really hot under the collar! Angry! And Envious! And whatever! And this was entirely and clearly antithetical to the whole purpose of self-analysis, which originally centered around self-improvement and New Year's resolutions. Not that expateek has shared or will ever share those resolutions. She generally doesn't like to be held accountable.

And with Dr. Owl away for a week or three in rehab on a voyage of self-discovery, expateek felt worried, alone and a bit out of control. But she kept pounding away furiously at her laptop, until this drifted in from the ether:

Don said...
To quote Buddha: "Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one getting burned."

And expateek realised that, even though she plays a flippin' mean game of tennis, she mostly still throws like a girl, and so with this anger/coal thing she'd not only burn her fingers but probably accidentally fling the coal straight into her tennis bag, setting all her dirty sweatshirts and used tennis balls on fire. Which would then make Mr D angry, as he'd have to underwrite the purchase of more sweatshirts and tennis balls and bags and he hates that kind of unnecessary expenditure, especially in these times of financial doom.

So! Always flexible, ready to go with the flow and move with the tide, expateek decided to take a break.

Calm, calm, calm, that's what expateek is all about. She deftly switched gears (and metaphors) and began writing about SLOTH instead.

And then she got all tired and really really sleepy, and she decided she was pretty much indifferent to the topic of sloth, because who really cares, anyway? Just maybe one or two readers, and they could wait a day or two. So she lay down on the couch, and when Mr D walked by, she mentioned how unbelievably exhausted she felt, and Mr D said, "What's new, pussycat?" meaning "It's 1:30pm and don't you take a nap after lunch every single day of the year?" And expateek got a little bit angry, but then she was all "meh" and she turned over and fell asleep while Mr. D kept on ironing doing laundry sweeping quietly putting away groceries unloading the dishwasher. And that last activity was a little bit noisy, so eventually expateek woke up, just as the final spoon clattered into the cutlery drawer.

And in her slothful and lazily consistent way, she returned to Wikipedia for some insight into the sin of Sloth.

More than other sins, the definition of sloth has changed considerably since its original inclusion among the seven deadly sins. In fact it was first called the sin of sadness or despair. It had been in the early years of Christianity characterized by what modern writers would now describe as melancholy: apathy, depression, and joylessness. Sadness (tristitia in Latin) described a feeling of dissatisfaction or discontent, which caused unhappiness with one's current situation. Dante ... described it as the middle sin, and as such was the only sin characterised by an absence or insufficiency of love. In his "Purgatorio", the slothful penitents were made to run continuously at top speed.

Holy crap, Batman! Running continuously at top speed? Please, NO! expateek's knees are only good for about 5 more years. Mr D already has strict instructions that the next house is going to have to be wheelchair friendly so expateek can roll around and raise hell after her double knee replacement surgeries.

Fortunately, times have changed:

The modern view of the vice, as highlighted by its contrary virtue of zeal or diligence, is that it represents the failure to utilize one's talents and gifts. For example, a student who does not work beyond what is required (and thus fails to achieve his or her full potential) could be labeled slothful.

Dissertation not yet finished? Still on hold? Uh huh.... Back to Wikipedia.

Current interpretations are therefore much less stringent and comprehensive than they were in medieval times, and portray sloth as being more simply a sin of laziness or indifference, of an unwillingness to act, an unwillingness to care (rather than a failure to love God and his works). For this reason sloth is now often seen as being considerably less serious than the other sins, more a sin of omission than of commission.

Well, phew! A deadly sin that's only mildly fatal, instead of totally fatal. Although the running at top speed part has expateek running scared.



Christine said...

Have you ever seen video of a sloth move? I figure I move faster than that so I should be O.K. as far as that sin goes.

I wonder how long the penitents were required to run? Maybe they only had to run for 10 seconds! If that is the case your penance will be easy-peesy.

Glad you have the sock drawer thing just about all worked out. Now run in place for l1 seconds. Just give it that little know...just in case.

Christine said...

That should read 11 (eleven) seconds. Why does that look so funny? Clarity is very important as far as penance goes in order to gain maximum absolution.

I am having way too much fun here. I am starting to worry. I may be guilty of one of the deadly sins. I don't know which one. Well, let me not think about that too much!

expateek said...

Christine -- I like the way you think! 11 seconds could be doable, and at a sloth-pace that would be an eternity. Done and DONE!