Being a predominantly Christian tradition, whether it’s Eastern or Western Christianity, many people take this time to give up any sort of food, alcohol or cussing because of failed New Year’s resolutions, not for the 40 days of fasting and preparation.
However, Lent is meant to give something back to others instead of taking personal sacrifices.
Pope Benedict explained in his message for Lent 2010, that in year’s past the alms giving part of the tradition has been lost.
Fasters should concentrate on giving to charities and to their communities.
This gives the opportunity to do an extrinsic, positive deed affecting others.
This shouldn’t affect those if their reason to give up 40 nights of hitting the bottle is to prove they aren’t an alcoholic.
Maybe for those 40 days the roads will be a bit safer.
Even so, this is not a biblical concept.
Preparing or fasting for your Savior is not measured by personal struggling for only an annual small period of time.
Not being one of solid church standings, this selfish act that is intended to be anything but egotistical, appears to be a flawed to those not partaking for the “right” reasons.
People’s motives are selfish in everyday life. It is hard to believe someone can change his or her intentions for just 40 days.
It’s questionable that giving up sodas until Easter will better yourself and others and also prepare yourself for your chosen god.
Food may be a popular choice because in Eastern Christianity Lent is the preparation for the greatest feast, Easter.
But, the lack of caffeine seems hardly comparable to what once was a magnificent meal.
If fasting is what you are doing, give up littering.
Give up speeding.
Even giving up smoking will be helpful to other people than just yourself.
Giving up chocolate to shed a few pounds isn’t doing anything of significance. That can be done at any point during the year.
This is a simple groupthink process.
Individuals who couldn’t explain the origin of Lent participate because of the easy accessibility to deny bad habits when the surrounding population is doing the same.
There is always the “in” thing to give up each year.
If the popularity of Lent wasn’t so high, the number of participants would match.
This act is meant to prepare those willing for the Resurrection — not for personal gain.
Once that is realized, the meaning of this tradition could be restored.
And maybe people will be able to give up their bad habits without having an inapplicable reason.