Giving Up For Lent

What’s the problem? I mean it’s usually giving up something that we usually do or indulge in too much that prevents us being the fit individuals that we’d love to aspire to be. Of course there is the religious aspect, but most of us aren’t doing it for that. So why do we do it? Why should we give up something we love for some over hyped festival that many of us don’t even believe in?

I live under the motto of everything in moderation, some say this is a good way to live. My issue with the whole student adaptation of Lent is that if we were really trying to ‘get fitter’ or ‘cut a habit’ can’t we just do that without the tagline of ‘Lent’ and just aim to be a better/healthier person all year round?

I am not a certified psychologist but I have done my research and had my own observations and it seems that going cold turkey on anything, especially if it is something that we really like, is not going to be the best way to cut a craving or get on the ‘healthy life-style wagon’. Quite the contrary, it will make us stressed and agitated at the prospect of having to do it and then it might even occur to us to question the reason WHY we are doing it, the point I want to clarify in this article.

I know it seems the norm to give something up at Lent, but why should we listen to such demands and alter out lifestyle to conform? I would like to think of myself as a generally well-looked after man, who knows when I’ve had too much of something and two curries in one day is a tad too far! Of course there will be days when I will go over, but I know how to get back on track and continue to keep healthy and have fun doing so.

What annoys me is when people are constantly asking me “What are you giving up for Lent?” or something along the same irritating lines. I reply “Nothing” and usually get the open wide gobsmacked look or the “You’re boring” retort. Now both the latter and the former get under my skin as much as they other. I do not give up because I like to enjoy my life and have little treats, so why would I give one of them up “just to see if I can?” Obviously if it was life or death I could probably  stop munching on KitKat Chunky’s every once in a while but my point is that it is not Armageddon so why the hell should I? Because everyone else does it?

In the end we usually just end up cheating behind peoples backs and trying as best we can to hide the wrappers or delete the history of our computers so no one knows we have strayed away from totalitarian abstinence. So again, what have we actually achieved? In my opinion we’ve made us resent our peers and the society that enforces such a fad, we are now feeling guilty and generally down with the frustration and need for our given up (something) of choice and we are literally counting down the days until we can liberate ourselves again! Please people, ignore the hype and just take it upon yourself to say no to Lent.

Michael Bell


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