I'm not a religious person by any stretch of the imagination. People call me an "agnostic", but as Steven Colbert says,"An agnostic is just an athiest witout balls." In any case, the point of this essay isn't to debate the existance of God, or to question anyone's faith. My main concern is the Roman Catholic concept of "Lent."
First of all, I'm not a practicing Catholic, but I respect the concept of "Lent." I believe it is important to sacrifice and to step back and appreciate what you have compared to others who have less, but why do people always "give something up?" People give up chocolate, beer, ice-cream, dancing, movies, and so forth and so on. Instead of sacrificing by "giving up" something that is realtively meaningless in the overall scheme of things, how about doing something for someone that you've never done before?
Instead of giving up chocolate, go down to the local soup kitchen and volunteer. Instead of giving up movies, why not go read to blind people, or take underpriveleged kids the movies.
It seems to me that it makes more sense help the needy than to deny yourself something that you don't really need.
That being said, I better get off my butt. Lent or no Lent, and start doing somthing to make a difference for someone less fortunate...