Virtue of the Week: Temperance

The Greedy MouseTHE GREEDY MOUSE

A greedy mouse saw a basket full of corn. He wanted to eat it. So he made a small hole in the basket. He squeezed in through the hole. He ate a lot of corn. He felt full. He was very happy. Now he wanted to come out. He tried to come out through the small hole. He could not. His belly was full. He tried again. But it was of no use. The mouse started crying. A rabbit was passing by. It heard the mouse’s cry and asked: “Why are you crying my friend?” The mouse explained: “I made a small hole and came into the basket. Now I am not able to get out through that hole.” The rabbit said: “It is because you ate too much. Wait til your belly shrinks”. The rabbit laughed and went away. The mouse fell asleep in the basket. Next morning his belly had shrunk. But the mouse wanted to eat some corn. So he ate and ate. His belly was full once again. He thought: “Oh! Now I will go out tomorrow”. The cat was the next passerby. He smelt the mouse in the basket. He lifted its lid. He ate the mouse. Had the mouse a little temperance and he would still be alive today.


Temperance
Control Over Our Emotions

MASTER

SLAVE

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(of our emotions)

(to our emotions)


The Escape

People often try to numb themselves with food, alcohol, and drugs to avoid dealing with their real problems. Being a person of virtue involves facing one’s issues head on. Gaining the self-discipline to moderate your intake of food, alcohol, and drugs will give you the confidence to start making other improvements in your life.

THE TWELVE STEPS OF ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS

  1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

“The Wolves Within”

An old Grandfather, whose son came to him with disgust having slipped back into a habitual vice, said, “Let me tell you a story. I too, at times, have fell victim to the weakness of excess consumption. But this battle wears you down, and more often than not in the end you slip again. It is like taking poison and wishing your enemy would die. I have struggled with these feelings many times.” He continued, “It is as if there are two wolves inside me; one is good and does no harm. He lives in harmony with all around him and has learned to resist temptation. He will only give into his emotions when it is right to do so, and in the right way.” “But the other wolf, ah! He is full of hunger. The littlest thing will set him into a fit of passion. He constantly searches for more satisfaction. He cannot think because his desires for satiation are so great. It is hard to live with these two wolves inside me, for both of them try to dominate my spirit.” The son looked intently into his Grandfather’s eye and asked, “Which one wins, Grandfather?” The Grandfather solemnly said, “The one I feed.”


Have we become slaves to technology?