First and foremost, I will say this — I do not believe in self deprivation for the sake of it or for religious reasons (same thing!) It is a bit hard to believe that “the loving God” will want you to forgo food/do things that aren’t “for your own good ” at least. Does this make any logical sense? Worst yet if people do so without focusing on God but really doing it in a ritualistic sense.
Second, self deprivation for a good cause will only be counter productive as it results in diversion. I.e. some people have resolves not to snack, they’ll end up eating more during full meals. Others decide not to eat four legged animals and will probably compensate by eating much more chicken >< And the moment Lent ends, they’ll Feast like hell. (Imagine those people whose resolve is not to Surf…-LMAOZEDONG)
Third, it might just cause unhappiness and grouchiness in people. “I want to eat chips dammit”
Fourth, MOST IMPORTANT (and counterintuitive), having a resolve NOT to do something increases the temptation to do so. You probably could spend a week not snacking with it not on your mind but the moment you resolve to not snack, the “I Love Junk Food” sticker would set your mind off.
Fifth, some are damn nonsense lah. Plain outright nonsense. Like not using MSN -_- clearly there is a practical rafflesian side to it.
Practical reason-wise however, here’s why self deprivation is good
1. leads to greater appreciation of what you have right now. Otherwise you’d get bored, complacent and unappreciative of whatever you have
2. sense of personal challenge. It might be fun! and there is sense of achievement when you’re done
3. Might inculcate good habit/removal of bad habit in the long run. On the assumption that you do not Feast the moment the Lent ends. Imho, this is unlikely, its like staying vegeterian after your vegeterian fasts end – people will rush back to eat meat
What should I Lent hrm. Vitasoy, tea, tv shows on my com. I’ll probably attempt one day without sleep out of reasons 1 and 2, and it will probably prove the Second and Third Con mentioned above.
And my biggest, hardest fast is secret. ( No it does not involve my right hand, the computer and my Organ, in case you’re wondering -_-)