Now that Mardi Gras has officially come to an end, I just have one small request. Whatever you do, please don’t give up reading for Lent. Having gone through a few Lents as an author, I can tell you that some people claim they spend too much money on books, but then when they deny themselves these books, they spend their money on something more frivolous. And are still left unsatisfied.
People, reading is GOOD for you. Giving it up would be like giving up broccoli. Chocolate flavored broccoli! Reading uses more of your brain than any other stationary function, (math uses the least, FYI), it strengthens neurons, and believe it or not, it burns calories. It is both food AND exercise for your brain. Not only that, but if you give it up, you will be hurting the authors who depend upon you to make a living. And you’ll probably just fill your extra time with TV or video games or eating, which makes you a worse person, not a better one, and betrays the entire purpose of giving something up for forty days.
On that note… I honestly believe people focus on the “vice” thing way too much. Life is hard. Sometimes life is really, really hard. Many individuals literally have Lent every day, and not by choice. It’s a struggle to get from one morning to the next. Giving up something that gets us through these moments may not be an option. So why not take another route this time? Why not take this as an opportunity to make the world a better place? Why not?
Give up being stingy with donations, give up yelling at your loved ones, give up honking your horn at the car in front of you (you know nothing about what is going on in their lives; what if they’ve just lost someone they love?), give up talking on your phone or texting while driving (for the love of God and all creation), give up smoking in someone’s walking path, give up forcing your employees to work unexpected hours or cutting their wages. Give up evil. Give up unkindness. Give up wrong. There’s no better time than the present to turn this from something selfish or pointless into something that’s actually worth a damn.
Just an author’s plea. xoxo