Thursday, March 26, 2015

Story 75: The Ultimate Sacrifice

            “So, it’s that time of year again.”
            “Awards season?”
            “No, silly – Lent.”
            “Oh yeah.”
            “So I gave up something really big this year.  Really big.”
            “Oh yeah?”
            “Yeah – I’m pretty proud of myself about it.  Takes an enormous amount of willpower, let me tell you.”
            “What did you give up?”
            “Chocolate.  I know, shocking: me, who eats, drinks, sleeps, and breathes cocoa almost as if it were some kind of addiction, which it totally is not.  But I’m managing, even with the tremors from time to time.  It’s a big deal, you know; important, I’d like to think.  So, what did you give up?”
            “Nothing in particular, I just gave up some free time to go volunteer at the food pantry.”
            “Yeah, it’s not much, but they appreciate anything you can do.”
            “I see.”

            *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *

            “So, I gave up eating or drinking anything with chocolate in it this year.  It’s been hard, but I think that the spiritual rewards are worth it, plus my sugar intake’s been reduced by 90%.  What did you give up this year?”
            “I gave up being so judgmental.  I finally realized that I was the one who deserved the censure I was constantly inflicting on everybody.  People like me a lot more now.”
            “My not-eating chocolate for seven weeks helps save the rainforest.”
            “Sure.  At least until you start eating it again.”

            *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *

            “I gave up chocolate this year, and I’m a better person for it.”
            “That’s nice.”
            “I think I deserve some sort of acknowledgement for the sacrifice I’m making – chocolate is a part of my identity, and I feel incomplete without it.”
            “And yet you just said you’re a better person for it.  Maybe you should use your time of sacrifice to examine why you have this need and stop obsessing over it so much.”
            “Why would I want to do that?!”
            “Because you’re missing the whole point of giving up something for Lent: the sacrifice is supposed to help you focus on appreciating what you have, and on giving, and on loving, and etc.  It’s not for bragging rights.”
            “Oh.  I could have done all that and still eaten chocolate?”
            “Probably.  What you give up is basically arbitrary; what you give is what counts.”
            “Then I suffered for nothing!”
            “If you paid any attention to what this season is about, you would dial it down a notch.”


  1. Cute. I know most people use Lent as a poorly thought out diet :-)

  2. Thanks! And yes, I am the chocolate fiend who gives that up each year like I'm doing something important :-).

  3. It is not what you give up; it is your willingness to make a sacrifice. That being said; good story.

  4. It is not what you give up; it is your willingness to make a sacrifice. That being said; good story.