What is “Over indulgence”?

In response to a question “How do you know when you are over-indulging?” I posted an answer online. Following is an edited version of the response:

Anything we do – indulge or otherwise – is based on only three sets of factors:

1. Our knowledge of what we are doing, why we are doing, how to do it, etc.

2. Our bias or preference to do something no matter what our knowledge and wisdom tells us.

3. Our ignorance or unawareness of our action or our bias or preferences.

Invariably, we have all these three factors (like three wires – positive, negative and neutral – in an electrical circuit) through which we are connected to that action or activity which we are assessing as “Am I over indulging or not?” Also not all three factors will be in equal in proportion in their effect or influence.

If your Knowledge about that activity and your manner of engagement is clear and purposeful, it may not be over indulgence! After all, wanting to succeed in your education in college and putting your best effort may not be over indulgence. Knowing clearly your role and responsibility (duty) and then engaging in it with gusto is not over indulgence!

If you are excessively biased and want to do “that” no matter what, that will be over indulgence. It is like pampering your child, friend or relative because of your love. When pampering becomes thoughtless and incessant, you know well about your over indulgence. If you don’t admit it and make corrections, both you and your child will be unhappy at the end. You may think of something as your “duty”. But, if you are not constantly checking and making self correction as needed that could end up as over indulgence.

If you are unaware of the stress at work and its effect on your health – such as migraine head ache – you need to get educated by medical professionals. At least you should stop blaming your boss and peers as it comes from your bias. Without any of these corrective steps, simply suffering from your illness will be over indulgence on your part driven by your ignorance!

Over indulgence can show up in many forms: Simply doing more of the same with the same effect with no visible progress is over indulgence. We tend to fall into this trap in the form of being “habitual”, “comfortable”, “don’t rock the boat” or “I can’t do anything different”, etc. Sometimes over indulgence is the outcome, when we are happy with the situation and the benefits gained, without consideration for their ill effects, pain or suffering on us or on others around us. Drug addiction, flaunting the wealth, pleasure from one’s power or status or simply enjoying the ignorance or failure of others in the name of “it is their fault” are all evidences of over indulgence in one form or another! The global climate crisis is a clear evidence of over-indulgence of a few at the expense of the rest of us and indeed at the expense of the planet earth. Indulgence is good and necessary. When it becomes over indulgence is well within our control and subject to our reflection and reasoning.

Wait, don’t turn this off and move to another question or another answer! Every question you ask requires serious reflection and thinking. Otherwise you are wasting your time and that of everyone else. No one should indulge with such time wasters! 🙂

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1 Response to What is “Over indulgence”?

  1. K K Sankaran says:

    A good analysis. Knowledge, bias and ignorance- I think these map very well to the three connectors about which you have written quite a bit. Any thoughts?


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