Debauchery is defined as an extreme form of immorality and an unbalanced form of indulgence in things that give person sensual pleasure. Some examples include: Gluttonous gorging of food, excessive sexual activity and physical companionship, extreme laziness and over-sleeping, drugs and alcohol, risky thrills including gambling, and of course, emotion addiction. In essence, debauchery is undoubtedly pleasurable. As stated above, it’s sensational! But at what cost?
Epicurus (341-270 B.C.) the Greek philosopher writes: "No pleasure is a bad thing in itself, but the things which produce certain pleasures entail disturbances many times greater than the pleasures themselves."
Too much food can make one lazy and lethargic. Certain substances can leave the user slow and foggy. Gambling can leave you broke (or in debt) or lead to other bad behavior. Debauchery can leave you lethargic, angry, empty, lonely, hazy, broke, diseased, incarcerated, or all of the above. Shooting heroin sure looks like it would feel fantastic! But not without the side affects that would infiltrate your life, family, future, society, and the world at large. So, in short, pleasure is not a BAD thing. Pleasure is just that. It’s pleasurable. But it may not be worth it.
Many forms of debauchery have a common theme – they are all easy, comfortable, and short lived. But not all lasting pleasure is easy or comfortable.
Other, more valuable types of pleasure are longer lasting and worked for. For example, if you give your time and listen to someone who is emotionally distraught or help the old lady cross the street or provide for the needy to buy food, you are creating something everlasting. By giving, we not only feel good once but are creating memories that can be accessed time and time again and can continuously make us feel good.
Other types of long term pleasure can be an investment. Loving and building human connections, consumption of knowledge, creativity, personal development… these are all things that progress and grow with time and effort. Breaking barriers, trying new things, and stepping out of our comfort zones give our lives an element of mystery, excitement, and surprise. This sharply contrasts with the almost mundane and predictable outcomes of debauchery.
Another, more specific type of investment for long term pleasure is facing our demons and tackling issues that are so much easier to ignore than take care of. By patching up our past - as daunting of a task as it may be - we can attain levels of our personality that were previously inaccessible. In short, make PEACE with your PAST so it doesn’t screw up your PRESENT.
No vice, object, or drug can produce a greater feeling than that of love and hard work. Ironically, they are one and the same…
Just because it’s easy it doesn’t mean that it’s worthwhile. Real human growth comes from breaking routine, taking risks, and blasting past the fear of failure and rejection. Life is change. But there is a big difference between just being ALIVE and really LIVING. Let’s all make the investment.