I’m not at all sure about vices, after all what I might consider a vice might be the thing that gives someone else the greatest guilt free pleasure.
According to Wikipedia:
‘a vice is a practice, behaviour or habit, considered immoral, sinful, depraved or degrading in the associated society’ It also goes on to explain how a minor vice might be a fault, unhealthy habit, negative character trait, a defect or an infirmity, which covers a lot of bases.
In Christianity vices are considered to be blasphemy, apostasy and hatred although we are more likely to have heard of ‘the seven deadly sins’ which both the bible and the poet Dante list as; pride, envy, wrath, sloth, avarice, gluttony and lust. The Q’ran while also having seven vices, lists them as worldliness, ire, envy, slander, obscenity, intoxicants and instruments of power. Buddhism however has 108 defilements or vices.
I am now wondering what would be on my own list of vices, were I to draw one up that is.
Some of what would be there would relate to present day society and my personal dislikes whereas others would no doubt reflect my beliefs. Just for fun I decided to make a start..
Talking on a mobile phone in restaurants
Posting selfies online
Swamping the Internet with ‘bad’ news and/or violence
Being glued to a mobile or tablet when in company
Not saying ‘thank you’ when someone holds a door open for you
Pushing in front of others in queues
Valuing the material over the spiritual
Showing lack of respect for the plant and animal kingdoms
Failure to think about the effects of your actions on others
Failure to think about the effects of your actions on the world around you
Not being the best you can be
I am sure I could go on…and on…and on…..and this is without even starting on my own vices which if I am completely honest would include:
Anger ( less than when I was young but still there more often than I’d like)
Impatience (mainly towards myself)
Sloth (or laziness)
Not being the best I can be (goes with the laziness)
Forgetting to be grateful (even though I do try)
In fact when I look at this list I can see how much my personal vices reflect my shadow side. A side I am not always proud of but which are part of me, which make me who I am. Without them I would be different, not necessarily better but different.
Having given this some thought in the writing of this blog I am beginning to think that anything at all can become a vice if it is something which is done to excess. If it is something controlled, while not being a virtue, may just be what makes you, you…..unless it hurts or damages others or the world around you….then in my book that really does make it a vice.