Recommit to Virtue: Part 7 of 10 – Obedience or Gluttony

The sixth mistake of society as identified by Gandhi is worship without sacrifice.  The spirit of respect is lost when we begin to worship things. Gluttonous spending is now a cultural conviction with little thought of personal sacrifice.  We want it all, we want it now, and we want it without effort.  The attitude of justice and obedience is lost as many worship at the altar of the marketplace where consumption is king.  Without personal responsibility, many believe in the economist’s rhetoric of the “invisible hand” determining and controlling the flow of goods and services where the “end justifies the means.”  Free markets and consumerism can improve mankind, but only if treated as tools and methods used with discipline and sacrifice.

Obedience and its attendant vice of gluttony are both about fairness.  A decision is made to be either fair in all your affairs, or to disregard the needs of others and consume everything to excess.  Obedience provides the power or impetus to receive justice.  Justice is a societal, rule-based system that promises fairness in the personal protection of rights and possessions.  Obedience is the price paid for this personal insurance. It involves delaying an immediate reward for a later greater reward.  In contrast, gluttony is immediate gratification; it is over-consumption to the point of waste.  It is void of all rules and fairness.  Justice doesn’t apply to the self-absorbed glutton.  Gluttony affects everything from availability of goods and services to a conscious disregard for the needy.

Originally posted on October 11, 2011 on