The Devil’s Poison: Chocolate, Sex and Alcohol

A Test of Strength: ‘So what have you given up for Lent?’

Easter giving up lent

Possessing very little willpower, I notably still suck my thumb at the age of 20, I have rarely tried giving anything up for Lent and it would certainly be a miracle if I succeeded.


But in this day and age, does the idea of ‘giving up’ still have any true meaning at Easter or is it all about the chocolate?


A recent survey suggests that almost two in five shoppers are so eager to tuck into their Easter eggs, that they scoff the chocolate on the way home from the shops.


Shockingly, or not, around 1/5 of parents admit to poaching their children’s Easter eggs. Just imagine all those eggs that you could have had, but were eaten by Mummy and Daddy. I know I can never forgive them.


My sister is a case in point and despite not yet having reached Easter Sunday, she has already had about four. With figures like those, it’s hard to envisage many who manage to go the whole hog and give up chocolate for 40 days…


Other popular choices of abstinence include alcohol, sex, Facebook and bread amongst many others. Perhaps less common was the friend of mine who decided that while giving up wanking altogether was just going to prove too challenging, he felt that it would surely suffice and be sacrifice enough to cut down on his daily number…


Traditionally, in giving up certain types of luxuries, Lent commemorates the forty days and forty nights that Jesus spent fasting in the desert before beginning his public ministry. The final week of Lent also remembers the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ on Good Friday and Easter Sunday.


But what is the point? And does anyone actually stick to this seemingly absurd form of self-deprivation?


Even if you are not explicitly religious, Lent can still be seen to carry a symbolic meaning. It offers a chance to see that ‘the world doesn’t crumble if we don’t have everything we want’ and a vision for a potentially stronger and selfless society. For the individual, giving up something you value as a challenge over this period will give you a sense of achievement, self-control and willpower – an area I know I really need to work on…


Finally, studies suggest that fasting can help your brain – protecting against neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s – whilst, perhaps not a current concern for the majority of students, it’s always nice to think ahead!


So, while undoubtedly, it is a little late to start Lent this year and even though you will still find me consuming vast quantities of Easter eggs on Sunday and celebrating chocolate as though I had been living without it for the last forty days, perhaps next year I should challenge myself and even, potentially, give up my thumb. It’s very unlikely.


In the meantime, what did you give up and how are you getting on?