The Perspective of Life Cursed by the Seven Deadly Sins

How a letter opener defines one’s future

Photo Credit: Shira Fishbach (

A letter opener is an object created for others to build upon. After George D. Bernard of St. Louis created the most basic design in 1877, innovators stepped in to go even further with its idea and simplicity. A letter opener is designed for the user in a way that relates to one’s life story. Our lives are designed to go in various directions. But since we were infants, our lives have been haunted by the seven deadly sins. We recognize them in biblical terms as the sins of pride, greed, lust, anger, gluttony, envy, and sloth. These sins have pushed people to use a simple object as a mask of their decisions and feelings.

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A letter opener, or a paper knife, gives more significance to letters and a person’s life than one would presume. A letter opener is symbolic for a person’s feelings, and their wish for more. A person with a letter opener has hope, and a way out of the sins that consume their everyday thoughts and actions. One could be excited, happy, mad, nervous, anxious, and so on. But, all one can do when receiving a piece of mail is to open it. No matter what lies inside the envelope, someone is required to read the information, and take in all of its meaning.

Catholic teaching defines sin in two categories. The first type of sin is “venial”, which are said to be minor wrongful acts. The other category of sin is a “mortal” sin, which is more severe than venial. A mortal sin is an act that breaks a person away from the Catholic Church. Where did these categories of sin originate?

It is the deadly sins that serve as the cardinal sins, or capital vices that shaped the way in which the Catholic Church categorized sin. Christians have been taught for centuries to stay true to themselves, and fight their human tendencies toward sin and evil.

The sin and evil in which humans are drawn to are what makes those seven sins deadly.

Sins are something that everyone in life experiences. We make mistakes, because we are human. We use objects to help us with these sins, and guide our way out of the sin’s darkness. We use objects in order to make the sins not seem as real in order to have control. We use objects as devices to give us feelings of luck and importance.

A letter opener is symbolic for the way in which one lives their life. Without a letter opener in their life, things that are important to them may shift making them lose control of the world around them. Their hopes become nonexistent, which leaves one with nothing but the sins that consume them.

Could these deadly sins be broken with a letter opener?

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THE DEADLY SIN OF PRIDE. “Pride evokes power, and one’s excessive belief in their own abilities.” Opening a letter that contains a paycheck inside evokes a feeling that one wishes to experience throughout their entire life. There comes a point in time when someone is so used to receiving a paycheck that they no longer feel excitement or question whether they will continue receiving checks. The letter opener is no longer looked for, because they have lost that original feeling of not wanting to rip open the envelope and risk the chance of tearing that precious piece of paper that states the dollar number that was earned through hard work. People begin to love themselves to the point that the dollar amount is equivalent to their worth, and total being. A letter opener symbolizes one’s feet on the ground. A person who uses a letter opener is level headed with what resides in the envelope, and understands that we must cherish the importance our abilities can bring to our life.

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THE DEADLY SIN OF LUST. “Lust is the unwarranted craving for the pleasures of the body.” Lust is often times mixed up with feelings of love to the point that relationships can be destroyed. Opening that love letter with a letter opener is a dangerous act. There is the guilt that lies at the end of the letter opener with the sound of the torn envelope paper. One who uses a letter opener is unsure of what their actions may cause. They want to be careful, because there is so much at stake with opening up a simple envelope which may bring news of ruination of a relationship which means the world to them. It is those who do not use a letter opener who are no longer secure. They yearn for something more, and are no longer satisfied with their emotions and need more human contact. Those who use the letter opener keep their lust a secret. They want it to remain as something within themselves, and those love letters which are opened but left alone. They want to understand what they are doing in order to fix their mistakes being made.

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THE DEADLY SIN OF ANGER. “Anger is manifested in the individual who spurns love and opts instead for fury.” It is someone filled with wrath. One who opens their divorce papers will use a letter opener. The stamp on the outside of the envelope with the lawyers name and address will bring about an emotion so consuming it is painful. A letter opener is necessary in order to preserve these papers that bring about an end to a marriage that once was something solid, and supposedly forever. The tear of the envelope that the letter opener causes crushes the reader into two separate people wishing to be apart. All that a letter opener can do is tear open the foundation, but it is the paper inside that must remain a whole and that is what angers the person fully. A person who does not use a letter opener will find tears on their relationship from the start. There is a lack of caring, and the anger shows by the crumples, folds, and tears of the papers held within. A letter opener functions with multiple purposes, and the sins that go along with it are what makes it have more meaning that just a simple object.

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THE DEADLY SIN OF GLUTTONY. “Gluttony is an inordinate desire to consume more than that which one requires.” It is the sin of consuming much more than what is needed for the human, but yet still consumed. It is the sin where instead of receiving and giving, there is only receiving. A person uses a letter opener when they have to face the reality of the bills from their food excursions. There in black and white is the proof of those endless weeks of going out to dinner, and eating all the food in one’s midst. The trips to the grocery store that resulted in unnecessary bags filled to the rim with items that could feed a large family of eight. The person that holds the letter opener knows of their sin. The letter opener tears open the envelope in the way that tears open someone’s mouth. The letter opener tears open the envelope in hopes that in a similar way, the person’s stomach is torn open to the point that they must end this life of sinning. It is easy for a person to live their lives focusing on abstract thoughts, rather than what is in front of them. The letter opener disappears to those so engrossed in their lack of care of others. The person who uses their hands filled with grease and left over food to open the envelope lacks compassion for others. They have reached the point of no return for respect of their body or others. All the person without the letter opener wants is more.

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THE DEADLY SIN OF ENVY. “Envy is the desire for others’ traits, status, abilities, or situation.” Envy is what brings people down, and is captured within the mirror effect. When someone looks into the mirror to see their reflection, all they are aware of is what they do not have. It is the sin of not being content with what you have in a physical sense, as well as a psychological sense. A person uses a letter opener to open an envelope containing a college acceptance letter. A person uses a letter opener to open an envelope that contains a college rejection letter. Those who notice the name of the school on the envelope and cringe for the security of acceptance use the letter opener. Could they finally look in the mirror and be content with what is in front of them? A person who uses a letter opener that sees that opening sentence with the word “regret” immediately sees that other person. They see what they do not have, as well as what they will not have. This is a sin of longing for everything else, but yet there are still those who do not look for the letter opener. The letter opener remains in the drawer, because when going to open up the letter their thoughts go straight to the person they want to be like. Their hopes of becoming more, or their passion to be greater, is lost in envy.

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THE DEADLY SIN OF GREED. “Greed is the desire for material wealth or gain.” Greed comes from the desire within to have everything they want in the world, and more. A person cannot be satisfied with what surrounds them, and all they are capable of is what is ahead of them. The person who uses a letter opener to open up their new credit cards see the card’s importance. They only have a few cards, and use them wisely. They want to handle the cards with care in order to suppress the feeling of wanting. The want the need for gaining to decrease, and with a letter opener they can preserve the mail holding the card information. They want to be organized, and not be greedy. It is those who do not use the letter opener who are lost. Those who do not use the letter opener wish for nothing but more. They cannot, and do not want to see the past. Less is more is a phrase that means nothing to them, and they are so unaware that the letter opener is no longer present.

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THE DEADLY SIN OF SLOTH. “Sloth is the avoidance of physical or spiritual work.” The sin of sloth is a place in which one does not own a letter opener. It comes to a point in a person’s life in which opening the mail no longer appeals to their life. They have slumped to a low where nothing matters anymore. Mail has become irrelevant, and a letter opener serves no purpose. Nothing in the mail is seen as worthy of reading or conserving in any fashion. This sin is the deadliest of them all.

To some people a letter opener is an object sitting in a drawer which is looked at but never used. To others it symbolizes the life that they have always wanted, and the person they hope to become.

So go grab that letter opener, and start opening the mail.