Lacson: Seven dangers to human virtue


CATHOLIC people are guided by their religious faith, and are encouraged to live by a virtuous life by following the Ten Commandments, which aim to curb the moral life of Catholic followers. These commandments, which were made known by God through Moses, states the moral obligations of honoring God, parents, life, property, truth, and marriage. The Catholic living also instills upon its believers to avoid the seven deadly sins that include pride, envy, gluttony, lust, anger, sloth and greed.

The Bible is a good reference of moral stories that can inspire and encourage believers to act morally and justly in their everyday lives. Parables, which are short stories that teach a moral or spiritual lesson, were usually part of Jesus' teachings in the New Testament. Jesus also used a set of teachings that are called the beatitudes, which Jesus described as eight blessings given in the Sermon of the Mount. The beatitudes favor the poor in spirit, those who mourn, the meek, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, and those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake.

In a similar way, the great Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi bequeathed upon his followers the seven dangers to human virtue: wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, business without ethics, science without humanity, religion without sacrifice, and politics without principle.

The first danger, having wealth without work, simply means that if one worked hard for something, he/she will truly value and appreciate the fruits of his/her labor. This is quite true with people winning an instant fortune from the lotto jackpot, who most often than not, squander the money in the twinkling of an eye. In the end, they still go back to being impoverished after. This is also true with people who own and misuse other people's money for their own selfish pleasures. We're talking of corrupt politicians who abuse their power for money's sake, and still have the guts to look like they're innocent and all.

The second danger, having pleasure without conscience, pertains to doing what is not morally right. This can be exemplified by what adulterers, sexual harassers, pornographers, and the like are doing to satisfy their immoral desires. There's a saying in Tagalog which goes, "Masarap ang bawal."

The third danger is knowledge without character. Intelligence is not the only necessary ingredient or key to success, but it also includes the right values and attitude, especially in dealing with other people. People will value you not only because you are smart or expert in something, but they will also love you for your pleasing character. There are a lot of people who are indeed knowledgeable, but are being stabbed behind their backs because of their annoying and undesirable traits like being too arrogant, being bossy, being inconsiderate, and sometimes, being too demanding.

The fourth danger is business without ethics. I believe greed and excessive desire for money drives people to do business without having the right principles. I know a lot of businessmen, highly-paid professionals and even celebrities who do not declare their assets to evade paying the right amount of taxes. Business establishments hire contractual employees to save on paying for benefits like health and social insurances. Other companies do not accord their employees what is rightfully theirs like 13th month pays and other monetary incentives. (To be continued)


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