Today, I argue why you should keep your vices private. Then, I discuss how to keep your vices confidential as you work to overcome them.
Table of Contents
- What Is Vice?
- In Modern Times, We Are Taught to Celebrate Our Vices
- How to Keep Your Vices Private
- Overcome Your Iniquities – Do Not Celebrate Them
What Is Vice?
Vice is behavior that serves the worst within us at the expense of our virtue, communities, and goals. What is the worst within you? Your desire for immediate gratification, laziness, selfishness, and arrogance.
In Modern Times, We Are Taught To Celebrate Our Vices
‘The world says: “You have needs — satisfy them. You have as much right as the rich and the mighty. Don’t hesitate to satisfy your needs; indeed, expand your needs and demand more.” This is the worldly doctrine of today. And they believe that this is freedom. The result for the rich is isolation and suicide, for the poor, envy and murder.’ – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
We all have vices. Our iniquities range from inconsequential acts such as eating junk food to life-changing problems like drug abuse. Unfortunately, you cannot live the life of a monk free from anger, desires, and bad habits.
In a healthy society, we would see our vices for what they are: aspects of our characters we should eliminate or fiercely regulate. Bad habits and character flaws stifle our ability to help others, be virtuous, and accomplish our goals. Why shouldn’t we oppose these worst aspects of ourselves?
However, in modern times we have been taught that vices are a source of power. People love to discuss their vices. They believe talking about their temper tantrums is “empowering” or that openly indulging in sex is “authentic.” But what have such people accomplished? Nothing of note. They do not discuss their vices as a way of overcoming them. No, they discuss their iniquities to celebrate and be celebrated.
Why Are We Taught To Celebrate Vices?
The open celebration of one’s vices makes us weak-willed, vulnerable, and easy prey for those who wish to use us. When we discuss our vices openly and confidently, we give them legitimacy by making them a part of who we are. Thus, we will embrace our sins instead of overcoming them. Once adopted, our vices serve as something we can’t live without.
We openly discuss vices because the ruling classes, mobs, and elites encourage us to do so. The mob enjoys dysfunction, as dysfunction drives their violence, greed, and envy. The elites revel in seeing others enjoy excess as they do. Even though such excess creates and sustains nothing. The ruling classes always want their victims to be addicts. Addicts always make good sheep and will fall in line to experience the thing they crave.
Remember, a man addicted to his sins is easier to control. If I know that you are addicted to a person, thing, or activity, I can command you if I control what you are addicted to. You’ll come to me to fulfill your desires or face the pain and agony associated with going cold turkey. And we all know that most people are ill-equipped to withstand such pain and suffering.
How To Keep Your Vices Private
However, if our iniquities are kept behind closed doors, we are no longer desperately attached to them. Our public lives are no longer defined by what we cannot overcome. Our public lives can be determined by what we accomplish, who we associate with, and the good we do.
Overcoming your vices may be difficult, but overcoming them publicly is impossible. Luckily, keeping your iniquities private is easy once you follow the steps below.
1) Separate yourself from social media
“I haven’t a particle of confidence in a man who has no redeeming petty vices whatsoever.” – Mark Twain
Social media makes us desperate for attention. To gain cheap thrills, people will flaunt their addictions to lust, greed, gluttony, sloth, and so on. However, if you cut yourself from the places where you’ll want attention, you’re less likely to flaunt your vices. Furthermore, you’re less likely to celebrate the “bravery” of others.
2) Always see your vices as negative
You have to accept your vices are a net negative. Internal corruption never helps you or your loved ones. Accepting this reality will put you in a headspace where you’ll want to overcome your iniquities instead of celebrating them.
People believe their vices can serve some good purpose. This is a lie. Your vices will always harm. Embrace this reality, and you won’t celebrate what you know to be harmful.
3) Understand the cost of your vices and what revealing them will cost others
At the heart of vice-worship is self-worship. An individual who celebrates their vices and displays them openly typically does not care about others. For example, a pornstar may feel “empowered” in her career. However, her community, especially her children, has to deal with the blowback of her “career.” Her sin of lust will harm others, especially as she displays it for others to consume.
Thus, you must keep your mind on others. How do your vices hurt the virtuous? Now, what would happen if you celebrate them instead of keeping them private? Publically displaying your sins will get you weak validation from a pathetic culture. However, you will hurt good people in your life while failing to resolve your iniquities.
Overcome Your Iniquities – Do Not Celebrate Them
Everyone has dirty laundry. We are full of regrets and have addictions to overcome. No one is squeaky clean.
That being said, your vices are not to be celebrated. Everything from overeating to adultery should be treated for what they are: character flaws, bad habits, and harmful acts. Although such defects vary to a degree of seriousness, they need to be seen as negatives.
Therefore, overcome your vices. When you struggle with your bad habits, keep them private. Talk to trusted allies and seek professional help. Learn to suffer in silence as you seek to strengthen your mind and improve your willpower. You can do this. Piece by piece, little by little.
Please do not give up. The world needs strong individuals.
“Our labour preserves us from three great evils — weariness, vice, and want.” – Voltaire
- What are your vices? How do they make you feel? Do they reduce your stress? Once you have indulged in them, how do you feel afterward?
- If you didn’t have your vices, what would you gain in return?
- How disciplined do you feel you are?
- What weaknesses do you have, and who profits from your weakness? For example, if you have a bad habit, large corporations profit from your over-consumption of terrible foods.
Please remember that it’s important to do the actionables. You’re not on this earth to simply read but to do. To become an individual, you must act more than you consume.
*Image credit to Unsplash.