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Sugar, alcohol, my phone...

... shopping, facebook, meat, fast food, junk food, smoking, television... the list is endless. What did you give up for Lent?

Why do we give things up and what is Lent?

Lent is the Old English word for spring and the name given to the period from Ash Wednesday to Easter. It represents the 40 days Jesus spent fasting in the desert and is associated with discipline, devotion and preparation. It is a time for personal self-denial and sacrifice, when we give up habits or vices which tempt us in our daily lives. According to an internet survey, the most popular things people want to banish are: chocolate, social networking and alcohol (in that order).

In recent years, the emphasis on giving things up for Lent seems to be more and more focused on us – our guilty pleasures, our lack of self-control and our inability to resist indulgence. Taking a look at ourselves and our personal excesses is certainly not a bad thing. But perhaps it would also be helpful if we made changes which would benefit others or society in general.

For example, we could give up the practice of focusing on the faults of other people and, instead, look for their good qualities. Or we could aim to be more thoughtful in our daily lives and more conscious of the way we deal with those around us: give a colleague positive feedback, share information, think twice before you make a comment, help someone out with a difficult task, take time to listen or just take time for life! There are a million little things that we can all do to make our world a happier, easier and more productive place.

Lent shouldn’t be just about giving up “bad” habits but also about adding new, “good” habits to our lives. With Easter just around the corner, Lent is almost over, but why wait for next year? Start with your new positive habits now and expand on them throughout the year.

The TIP TOP team wishes you a relaxing and enjoyable Easter break ... and happy Easter egg hunting!

 

Vocabulary

Lent – Fastenzeit

Ash Wednesday – Aschermittwoch

to be associated with – damit  wird verbunden

discipline – Disziplin

devotion – Hingebung, Zuwendung

preparation – Vorbereitung

self-denial – Entsagung

to fast - fasten

sacrifice – opfern, das Opfer

habits – Gewohnheiten

vices which tempt us – Laster die uns verführen/verlocken

to banish – verbannen

emphasis – übertreiben

guilty pleasure – „kleine Sünden“

lack of self-control – fehlende Selbstkontrolle

inability – Unfähigkeit

to resist indulgence – Schwäche widerstehen

personal excesses – eigene Ausschweifungen

conscious – bewusst

egg hunting – Eiersuche

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