Part of the Lenten ritual is to give up things or make small sacrifices during the 40 day season. While having an Ash Wednesday seafood lunch with my daughter I gave this some serious consideration.
What do I give up for Lent?
Treats, such as candy, pastries, ice cream, or other desserts? Even though I have a sweet tooth, I barely eat enough of those to make it worth while.
Fasting is always a good choice. Unfortunately, I only eat one meal a day and a snack at night. I already fast.
Booze? I do not feel like going to meetings.
Wine? I am a oenoholic.
Bread? Cheese? I may as well shoot myself.
Give up carousing in the evening? With this Chiberian winter, I have cabin fever so bad I just may as well enter an insane asylum.
Being around stupid people? Look, I am surrounded by them. The only reason I do not commit genocide is I do not want to die in prison.
Give up coffee? Mass murder would ensue.
Meat, poultry, and dairy? I will leave that to my Orthodox brethren. Plus, life would be more boring than it is now.
Give up anger, impatience, jealousy, covetousness, criticism, negativity, curmudgeonly behavior, being offensive and insensitive, thoughts of committing gratuitous violence, and other disreputable behaviors? Lent is about making small sacrifices not sucking all the joy out of life.
Giving up time during the day for silence and meditation? I live with the miserable mangy barking bowser. When he stops barking, I will stop talking to myself.
It is not easy to make those small sacrifices or give things up for Lent.
So, I decided to give for Lent. I forgot I took the photograph to the left. A publication recently paid a tidy sum for the use of the color version.
I will take the proceeds and purchase ten dollar gift cards from a well known sandwich franchise.
There are homeless and hungry people begging on the streets of Chicago.
No one should have to beg. I will take one card each day I go out. When I run into a homeless person near one of the many shops, I will give it him or her.
Each day I go out, one person will get a decent meal.
I will not be forced to give up the little pleasures of life. It is a win-win situation.
As the Good Book says, "It is better to give than go insane, commit mass murder, kill yourself," or something like that.
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