Xeno Hemlock


Types of Gluttony That Rob You of a Purposeful Life - Part 2

I didn’t have cancer. “The biopsy results are in,” the doctor started. “There were no cancerous cells.” I wanted to roll on the ground and kiss the floor that had seen too many patients but I kept my composure. A “thank you” didn’t even come out my mouth because I was rendered speechless.

After multiple doctors, too many hospital visits, too much money slashed out of my wallet, and too many big, soft, and smelly poops taken right after eating (side-effect of medication; sorry for ruining your dinner), my hospital quest was over. I didn’t have to go back to see those doctors anymore. (Maybe someday I shall write a fictional story with a doctor. Or maybe I already did?)

In hindsight, it seemed as if the universe decided to pull a prank on me. “Alright human, I’m going to make you worry for your life and wallet for a while until I decide it’s time to reveal that everything’s okay”. When I stepped out of the hospital knowing my life could return to normal, somewhere out there, the universe let out a laugh nobody heard.

But it didn’t. 

I don’t mean the universe ‘cause I’m pretty sure it laughed (I STRONGLY BELIEVE IT HAS A WEIRD AND WICKED SENSE OF HUMOR). I meant my life; it didn’t go back to the way it was. The universe’s joke prompted me to change. 

Sometimes one change can lead to another and then another and then another until you stop at your current station and realise that all the changes have snowballed and there’s no going back to your old life anymore. In my case, the aftermath of that snowball woke me up from a gluttonous life that lacked purpose.

What are these types of gluttony that rob us of a purposeful life?



If we take away all the bells and whistles the art of food accumulated throughout time, we’d be left with food’s sole purpose - fuel. We eat because we need to nourish our body. Otherwise, we’ll perish. Strip all the fancy eating and only live with the essentials, we’ll still survive. 

While I don’t promote getting rid of those bells and whistles, after all, dining especially the celebratory kind brings people together, they shouldn’t be abused. We cannot celebrate daily. Some days are just “plain and boring” there’s no need to stuff our faces with a triple-layered chocolate decadent cake just because we can. We should be mindful of our eating or it’ll be our death. Ain’t it funny how something that’s the source of life can lead to the opposite of it as well? Gastronomical gluttony is hazardous to our health. If we’re sick, we can’t live a life with purpose (since we’ll be busy attending to our illnesses instead). Or worse, we will not even have a life at all.



Feeling sorry for ourselves, painting ourselves as victims, festering a woe-is-me attitude, these are easy choices over taking responsibility, determining the problem, and organising a solution. Yet, these mentalities are addicting because they absolve us of the hard work required to overcome troubling and emotional times. 

How many times does life hand out to us opportunities for growth wrapped in cheap and ugly wrapping yet we refuse to see them for what they really are? Unfortunately, some of us always pick easy-way-out options, choosing to languish on emotional gluttony instead (because feeling good must happen at all times). Emotional gluttony robs us of a purposeful life because we don’t learn to see the great possibilities in our life ahead. It holds us back into a fear-filled zone and traps us in it.



Entertainment is not the darkest shade of black. It’s not the brightest shade of white either. But all work and no play makes Xeno a dull boy (or <insert your name here> a dull boy/girl). In fact, I can attest that if I deprive myself of my choice of entertainment, Survivor, Super Sentai, and Orphan Black to name some, I’m going to lose my mind. Being a creative as well, I need to indulge in other products of creativity (entertainment, for example) every once in a while to add fire to my creative kindle. 

Consumption of entertainment can turn into gluttony when it starts to consume a big chunk of our lives, not missing every episode of every season of every TV show on Earth for example. Life is not just about toiling, it’s also about indulging in the  pleasure our world has to offer. However, life is also not just about seeking those pleasures, it’s also about fulfilling our role here on Earth. Entertainment gluttony robs us of a purposeful life because it tips the balance in favour of pleasure, leading to us disregarding the other part of the equation.



Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.
— Eleanor Roosevelt

@@People who lack purpose in life become busybodies.@@ Why? Seeing other people with purpose and direction (whether fact or only an impression from the mind of the busybody) pains the busybodies. “How dare they be so happy but not me? Why are they fortunate and I’m not? How dare they do something I really want to do but do not have the courage to do so?” These are some of their thoughts. Because of jealousy, busybodies make themselves feel superior to other people by gossiping about their lives. It’s their way of filling the empty holes inside them they have no inkling how to fill.

Social gluttony robs us of a purposeful life because it distracts us from what’s hindering us in living with purpose. It conceals to us that our lives are colourful shells on the outside but hollow inside. Engaging in tittle-tattle temporarily makes our hollowness go away until the filler dries up and we have to fill it again and again and again and again…



Like eating and entertainment, I’m not totally against owning possessions. A house that shelters us from harsh weather is a possession. Clothes that keep us from extreme warm and cold are also possessions. A vehicle that gets you faster to your destination is a possession. You work for your money and it’s your right to do with it however you please but at what point does it become gluttony?

Material gluttony happens when we are trapped in a cycle of buying because we believe it will give us happiness. Hold up, I missed a word. Material gluttony happens when we are trapped in a cycle of buying because we believe it will give us ETERNAL happiness. Let me emphasise it. E-T-E-R-N-A-L. ETERNAL. 

I bought Kinect for Xbox One after I was declared cancer-free. Endorphins my body released after playing living-room tennis helped me shift my lifestyle from sedentary to active and it made me happy. I bought a Macbook Pro for the first time more than a year ago and it has been my trusted companion in most of my writing. Yes, that made me happy. I bought book after book after book after book because the smell of paper and finishing a good story make me happy. 

But when the rainy season and its friend depression arrive, my Kinect, Macbook Pro, and my books cannot keep me 100% happy. These objects are only tools in doing something and they will not protect me from the occasional loneliness, unexpected heartbreak, and treacherous fears. It will take more than material possessions to deal with those beasts. Give a man either a stone or a sword and he can still kill the dragon.

Material gluttony robs us of a purposeful life because it keeps us in a cycle of never-ending purchasing in the illusion it will keep us forever happy. 


Gastronomical, emotional, entertainment, social, and material, these are the types of gluttony that rob us of a purposeful life. If you weren’t aware before, I hope you are now. Stop letting those devils rob you of your purposeful life. @@End gluttony. Start living.@@

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