Spiritual Obesity

Gebriel Alazar Tesfatsion
3 min readNov 14, 2022

“Ronaldo says he feels ‘betrayed’ by Man Utd” reads today’s leading headline story on BBC Sports News.


I am intrigued. The club Ronaldo accuses of betraying him pays him over half a million a week (£515,385 per week — that is over a million in a fortnight, £ 26.8 million a year). This is higher than the GDP of many developing countries. And he feels betrayed. For the amount of money Ronaldo is paid, I know one billion people who would gladly want to be betrayed.

Of course, the reason he feel betrayed by his club is because the club is not giving him the playing time he wants; that Manchester United pays him so much to sit on the bench and be a spectator (“I’ll still bone,” go the one billion people). This is, of course, an affront that Ronaldo’s inflated ego cannot take.

An underlying factor that exacerbate his indignation, if not cause it, is a gnawing sense of guilt that bites at his conscience that he is not doing anything to earn his pay, not giving back in return to the large dough the club ladles on his plate. At least, if he is always out on the field, playing, [like his arch rival, Messi, still is at PSG], he would deceive himself into believing that he is earning the obscene wage.

Ronaldo’s lot at this point in Manchester United epitomizes us all. We are all paid obscene amount and give back little to nothing in return. That includes the ninety-nine percent of us who share only one percent of the world’s wealth. The wage that we get paid which I speak of is priceless — Ronaldo’s salary pales into insignificance against it. I am referring to all the air, water, food, shelter, clothing that the Universe offers us in abundance for our sustenance and luxury. Imagine if we were to buy the air we breathe at a gas station every day. Elon Musk for all his 203 billion dollars would not live longer than two hours.

The Universe does not ask anything for itself in return for what it gives us generously. What it does ask of us in return is to keep our duty towards one another and towards the nature we dwell in. The Universe does not deny us the playing time on the field that Ronaldo claims his club does. We are always on the field, for until we are taken off the field for good. However, have we been observing our duty to our fellow beings and nature?

What is my duty to my fellow beings and nature, you say? It is, in as simple as it can be stated, being of meaningful service to your fellow beings. However, there is an antecedent to offering service to others. First, we ought to go on a voyage to discover our unique talent, talent we were born with, for it is in that talent we are happiest and most productive in serving others. It is this service the whole of nature will benefit from.

Question is, What are you giving back in return in terms of fulfilling this duty to your fellow beings that you are in existence for which the Universe is giving you its resources abundantly? You say, “I do that duty in my nine-to-five job every day”, but the truth that you are turning your back to is this: the nine-to-five job is the path of least resistance you have opted to take in your lack of courage and stamina, instead of taking the arduous yet rewarding path of finding your talent and living in its pursuance. You understand that you cannot take the latter path without losing yourself, and so you chose the path of least resistance in your nine-to-five job. Every day, you bury yourself in its tedious tasks if only you could drown the guilt that gnaws at you for taking the cowardly choice.

Taking too much and giving back little to nothing is a breach of the law of nature. It results in obesity. As physical obesity is caused by eating much more than the energy you expend in physical movement, taking all the resources the Universe has to offer and doing little to nothing in return to observe the one duty it instructs you to do for your own benefit, results in spiritual obesity.

The world we live in suffers from spiritual obesity. All the war, crime, depression, suicide on the sphere of our existence are symptoms of the spiritual obesity the world, we suffer from.

Ronaldo, in his lot, is just being a man of his time.