Depending on your background, some of you might have heard of the Seven Deadly Sins. I remember hearing about them when I was younger as my piano teacher as a child was Christian. My sister and I had lessons right after each other, so when I was waiting for my turn, I would either play with her two kittens or read the only reading material she had in the waiting room – the Bible.
The seven deadly sins, also known as the capital vices or cardinal sins, is a classification of vices within Christian teachings. Although they are not mentioned in the Bible, behaviours or habits classified under these 7 categories would directly give rise to other immortalities. Since I wasn’t brought up with a background in Christianity, reading the Bible was like reading a foreign history textbook. It was packed with a wealth of knowledge, but it was difficult to comprehend. Also, reading it raised many questions that my piano teacher loved to discuss with me after our lessons.
The seven deadly sins are: pride, greed, wrath, envy, lust (extravagance), gluttony (arrogance), and sloth, which are contrary to the seven heavenly virtues. Now, the reason why I was thinking of the seven deadly sins today was actually because of an anime I’ve been watching called ‘Hyouka’ (氷菓, literally meaning “ice cream” in English). This anime is a 22-episode anime produced by Kyoto Animation and I’m quite impressed with the storyline and the character development.
In episode 7, they spoke about the deadly sins as the main characters have a discussion about why it’s actually good to show emotions like anger. Ironically, the main character, Houtarou Oreki, is what they describe as ‘grey,’ meaning emotionless because he is an energy conservationist (thus, someone who doesn’t like to exhibit emotions and use his energy to meddle with others).
When I first thought about how anger is something good, I was confused because the only thing I could think of that is good about exhibiting anger is how it’s important to not bottle up emotions (so mental health). However, this goes much deeper and the story introduces a perspective I have never considered that was discussed by the other protagonist, Eru Chitanda.
Eru speaks about how it’s good to exhibit any of the deadly sins because it shows that we are human. She explains this through a discussion on pride and greed. If one does not show pride, then they would lack self-confidence. Similarly, if one does not show greed, they would not be able to support a family or feel the need to work hard to gain financially. I never considered this as being too proud or being too greedy is often viewed as something ‘bad.’
It just goes to show that there are so many different ways to view a situation and that there’s always something good in something bad.
So, if you ever feel bad because you exhibited your anger publicly, take a step back and think about this: not all emotions are bad and sometimes, exhibiting what society may view as a ‘bad emotion’ might help you feel a ‘good emotion’ in the long run.