The May/June 2014″Intelligent Life” insert to the Economist featured an article on Seven Deadly Sins with seven different worldly people lobbying for one of the Sins. They’re all interesting reads.
- Richard Holloway denounces envy as the meanest sin;
- Will Self insists we have a culture saturated with pride;
- Ann Wroe bemoans ingratitude;
- Jesse Norman argues that greed is pure ego;
- Camila Batmanghelidjh believes that sloth is too prevalent in society and
- Robert Guest warns that lust for power is a global problem
I particularly liked the article by Aminatta Forna (professor of creative writing at Bath Spa University and author of “The Hired Man”) and the following two paragraphs in particular.
I spend some of my time in west Africa where choices are fewer. In our family village most people are subsistence farmers and meals are shared and eaten from the same dish. Yet even there a visitor has asked for the “vegetarian option”. Off the coast nearby, Japanese factory trawlers heave tonnes of fish from the ocean, leaving little for local fishermen.
In west Africa, when a spendthrift loses his fortune, we say: “He ate it.” Future generations will look back at us, across the empty seas and the rainforests razed to make way for yet more cattle, ask what happened to the earth and say: “They ate it.”