Taming our runaway appetites-A A +A
The Living Spirit
Saturday, June 30, 2012
(Below is an article by Ernesto R. Mondoñedo)
“Man’s desires are infinite. We have to control our runaway appetites otherwise they will control us, with all its bad consequences.”
RESPONSE to needs undoubtedly influence the course of history. It either spurs growth of people to full personhood or plunges them to the level of senseless ‘brutes.’
Some needs are real. Some, like phantoms, make themselves felt even though they exist only in the mind. They are the macabre spawns of runaway appetites. No one can ever fully satisfy them. They have made many a man veritable Don Quixotes to the challenge of evil in society.
The more basic the needs, felt or real, the more they absorb the mind. Some persons, however, have been known to tame their clamor and brave the challenge of attaining ever higher levels of human fulfillment. A select few have in fact so tamed their runaway appetites as to reach and value the height of human fulfillment. They continued to value good human relations and pursue it even when their felt need dictated otherwise.
Veritable ‘fools’ they reached out to their tormentors: a distinctly heroic choice over their felt need to get even or to shut them out. Here lies the challenge to Christians to organize the backup security of more ‘fools’ who, with Christ, tame their appetites for the cause of friendlier and more godly relationships.
“Love your enemies,” Christ commands. “Do good to them who hate you. When they slap your right cheek, turn the other cheek.” Luke 6: 27, 29. “Forced to walk one mile, walk two.” Mt. 5:41. “Relieved of your cloak, give your shirt as well.” Mt. 5:40. Who but Christ alone, and those who continue to be in his company and accept God’s gift of his godliness, can afford to lose their lives for their fellowmen as He did? “Apart from me you can’t do a thing.” Jn. 15:5.
To know, follow, obey and be empowered by Christ’s charismatic gifts is the fitting response of Christians to the unbridled devastation of the world by runaway human appetites.
Toward the opposite end, man can respond to needs lower than is duly fulfilling for him. He may ache, for example, for friendlier neighbors (third level) yet wall them off or hide behind closed doors (second level) at the sound of curdling cries for help that dictate for him the need to concern himself with the well-being of his neighbors (fifth level). He aches for love but will not bother to give it.
Then, too, an already accomplished doctor, engineer, businessman, politician or religious, may push harder for further accomplishments in order to secure his status with his peers (third level) when his real fulfillment is to co-author a good family, association, neighborhood, town or nation (fifth level). He may not even discover the fulfillment of raising a good family in his preoccupation to keep up with the Jones, and reaps instead a whirlwind of headaches and heartaches from it.
Such is the debilitating outcome of wrong response to the imperious demands of appetites that a thousand worlds cannot survive the embattled cashing or hoarding of nature’s resources in their futile scramble to secure themselves unduly from their hostile community and uncertain tomorrow.
Finally, without the means to cultivate their potentials and not given the opportunity to taste the satisfaction of contributing to the output of a productive group, these embattled people will languish in frustrating impotence and be forced to sponge, if not fight, for the security of their lives and the well-being of their families.
Are these not the devil also in the harried family of nations that the Son of God made Man was sent to dislodge from the hearts and communities of God’s children?
The phenomenon of our OFWs going abroad to earn more money in order to satisfy their needs is a clear example of the problem that Mondoñedo discusses in this article. When these OFWs come home bringing along with them a lot of appliances and other luxury things, often they find their family in disarray because of a long absence of the husband and father in the family. If they would control their appetites and try to earn their living here in our country, they would not only save their family but also our country, by making their own contribution to the development of our nation.
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Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on July 01, 2012.