Seven deadly sins = virtues? LO11593

John Farago (
Sat, 28 Dec 96 21:20 GMT0

May be over a year ago, Richard Donkin, in the (London) 'Financial
Times' quoted a Chinese proverb that for me epitomises the Learning

'If you and I each have an egg and we exchange them, we will still have
one egg each; if you and I each have an idea and we exchange them we
will each have two ideas.'

On 26 December Liz Hunt, Health Editor of the (London) Independent
wrote 'Warning: The Seven Deadly Sins might not damage your health'
quoting academic sources that suggest some sins may not be
such a bad thing after all.

>From these two sources I am inspired to suggest that the seven sins are
due for 'reframing' as potential learning virtues.

If learning is the acquisition of new skills, knowledge and
understanding - and as long as we are not preventing others from
learning, then Avarice (I want more), Gluttony (I can never have
enough), Envy (I want what they have) and Lust (passion and enjoyment)
all seem useful attributes to support a greed for knowledge. Sloth
(not laziness, but giving ourselves enough time to reflect without
rushing into mindless action) and Wrath (anger - the courage to
challenge wasteful obstructive cultures, structures and systems) may
also be learning 'virtues'. Finally we come to Pride. Why not take
pride in learning and the effective application of learning, as long as
pride is not excessive and we retain the humility to accept that the
more we learn the more we reveal the vast extent of our ignorance?

Happy New Year from Wimbledon

John Farago

-- (John Farago)

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <> -or- <>