vice/virtue paradox

Update: In December I wrote I blog about the vice/virtue spectrum titled “Soul Candy” that discussed the 7 Deadly Sins (and their opposing virtues) in American culture. Well, O&M just published a point-of-view that includes the 7 Deadly Sins in culture today. Conclusion: Americans are working both sides of the virtue/vice continuum. I knew that. That’s why I named this era marked by paradoxical behavior the Tension 10s. In summary, 3 vices are waxing (wrath, sloth, lust).  I read an article in Psychology Today (March issue) that debunked the myth that it’s healthier to ventilate rage than to keep it bottled up. In fact, research shows the opposite: angry outbursts give short-term relief but feed the emotion long-term. Wrath will naturally dissipate without long-term negative effects. Good to know in these “wrathful” emotionally-charged times.

But the greater incidence of “sloth” surprised me a little. I would have thought that fear and desperation would heighten industriousness. I guess Americans feel depressed and defeated? Unmotivated? Hopeless?  Maybe, consumers think staying at home (the trend) is “slothy?”

The 4 vices that are waning (envy, greed, gluttony, pride) are all to be expected after a humbling recessionary experience. Dialing down these vices is obvious for course-correcting Americans who are streamlining and scaling back their lives.


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