Guest Commentary: Practice moderation

Published 5:14 pm Friday, March 8, 2024

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By Avari Drennan

Pacelli Catholic Schools student

How many of you went into 2024 fully intending to eat healthier, drink less, and improve your overall health and well-being? Now how many of you have stuck to those resolutions? Odds are, the majority of those who planned to stick to these resolutions have found themselves struggling, maybe even to the point of giving up. This is because as a human race we do not know how to enjoy something, we always want more; and we are rarely satisfied.

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We all seem to have our own set of morals, principles, and beliefs to live by. Despite religious beliefs, we all have a moral compass that tells us when an action is right or wrong. In our world today, sins can be seen anywhere and everywhere from grave sins, such as murder, to the sins of lying or swearing. Regardless of the severity of a sin, all sin is bad and offends God.

Gluttony is one of the seven deadly sins. A deadly sin is considered to be the biggest stumbling block in people’s lives. The sins are called deadly because of their consuming and destructive potential. Specifically, gluttony is the sin associated with an unhealthy indulgence in material possessions, usually food. However, it is important to note that it is not isolated to just food, it can be other indulgences such as alcohol or screen time.

For example, if you are watching a show and then you continue to watch more and more episodes until all of a sudden it is 2 a.m. and you are still watching the show; this is a very relatable act of gluttony/intemperance. Another example would be snacking on a bag of chips and finishing the entire bag without intention or awareness. In these common examples of gluttony, the sin was committed because you were unable to exercise self-control in your actions and had no regard for quantity, quality, or when and why you over-consumed.

While many emotional and long-term issues can arise from gluttony, there are also very practical issues that are an outcome. For example, in the US, we waste about 20-25% of all food purchased for the home. If purchasing food became less excessive and more mindful, we could not only set ourselves up for less gluttonous activities in the future, but we could also decrease food waste.

In a world where excess is readily available, we need to be aware of when we are engaging in gluttonous behavior. As we lose awareness, we start to normalize the excess and become accustomed to it which can create a vicious circle, and therefore never believe that we are truly satisfied. In a world where more continues to drive more, gluttony will always be a temptation.

The best way to avoid engaging in this sin is to practice moderation. Practicing moderation is important because it allows you to maintain a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Studies have shown that the best method for a lifestyle lived in moderation is to not deprive yourself of specific things, avoid labeling things as good or bad, practice mindfulness, plan, prepare, and change your thinking to always find the positive.