Of course, selecting seven sins as being somehow more “deadly” (or in some formulations “cardinal” or “capital”–more important–or “mortal”) is silly. Even those “lesser” sins labeled as “venial” can be as destructive.
And I fear that just that is so with our society. As we have denigrated the very concept of “sin” we have pejorated as well the truth of virtue. But that should be the subject of another post, I suppose, since this is addressed to just one of the so-called “deadly sins”–despair.
It’s hard to not throw ones hands in the air and simply give up in the face of the veneration of lies and the utter stupidity of the masses, especially in a society that was once governed as a representative republic with powers of governance that were diffused and acknowledged as simply loaned to government by a watchful and wary people. As we have, as a nation, regressed toward more and more democracy, power has naturally become more and more concentrated in the hands of demagogues and poltroons, as is the nature of democracies. For,
“In a democracy (‘rule by mob’), those who refuse to learn from history are in the majority and dictate that everyone else suffer for their ignorance.”-third world county’s corollary to Santayana’s Axiom
And that is what can lead to despair. *sigh*
Of course, one ought to also simply factor the selfish, auto-enstupiation of the masses into ones efforts to prevent the scoundrels, poltroons and outright evil soi disant “elite” from gutting society for their own short-term gain, I suppose. The problem then is finding a banner-carrier for reason whose charisma can appeal to the self-enstupiated, who are only appealed to by flash and sizzle and care nothing for substance, one who can resist the corruption of popularity bought through charisma and nevertheless remember his principles.
Such are found rarely in any generation. But in a time such as this, when self-styled elite rule through the approbation of the Mass Man thus largely negating any appeal to reason, I suppose those few who still attempt (and, like me, still often fail) to grasp at a straw of reason ought to be, like Diogenes searching for the mythical honest man, be searching for this paragon of virtue who nevertheless can appeal to Mass Man.
Perhaps as counter to despair, one might embrace a righteous anger, though it’s difficult to avoid unrighteous wrath once one has started down that path…
Whatever one does, avoiding the chief sin of the liars, poltroons, scoundrels and outright evil “elites” is essential. In pursuing justice and mercy, we must embrace an honest appraisal of our own actions, avoiding the pride of those who have for so long grown ever more powerful and who now bid to destroy this society, while falsely claiming to better it (Yes, Ø! I am talking about you and all your co-conspirators).
Of course, that does mean I’ll have to ameliorate my own disdain for those who, by their own selfish self-enstupiation and intellectual and moral laziness, have defined themselves as the lowest common denominator of Mass Man. I cannot erase my disgust for such, but I suppose I can at least say, “There but for the grace of God go I.”
But I reserve the right–no, the duty!–to mock rap “music” with jeers, catcalls and loud, wet raspberries. *heh*