#136 – Gratify without harming (Χαριζου αβλαβως)

This is a society where there is a lot of instant gratification. And this Maxim tells us that it is not a bad thing to gratify ourselves as long as we do not harm other people while doing so. We are often told that indulging ourselves is a bad thing, but if done with moderation AND ETHICS it is not. This is the key to this Maxim along with the requirement not to harm. This is similar to the Wiccan saying “An ye harm none, do what ye will” and requires the same commitment to ethical behavior.
Some people will argue that there is nothing that we do that is without harm to anyone. I would say that if this is true then we should do what harms the minimum amount of people and make a conscious effort to ensure this is always the case. I personally do not agree that things will always harm others and that the conscious effort should be made for ethical behavior to avoid harm where possible. This includes harm to oneself in the teachings of the Maxim. Gratifying the urge to have another mug of coffee is not likely to cause harm to anyone, but having another drink of alcohol might just do so. Decisions seemingly as innocuous as this are at the heart of this Maxim, and this is a Maxim that forces us to think about them.

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