Kwaresma is in full swing, and most Filipinos have already decided and stood by what they’re sacrificing for the 40 days before Easter Sunday. Apart from meat, bad habits and indulgences, there are a few other things that we would do well to abstain from, not only to prepare ourselves for Holy Week but also to make the most out of the perfect time to rid our lives of negativity. Cut these 8 things out of your life for the next month or even for a day and you’ll marvel at how much your outlook (and the world around you) will change.
Our parents always warned us that the person who gossips with you will undoubtedly gossip about you. Do we really need this kind of voyeurism and crab mentality in our society? The answer is no, definitely not. Give up back biting, spreading rumors and talking about other people and you might just be surprised at how much lighter you’ll feel after not saying anything negative for a couple of weeks. It will be difficult, no doubt, but it will be worth it.
Perhaps the biggest social media sin of all, humblebragging is as annoying as it is easy to commit. If you’re proud of something, go out and say it–but try your best not to do so with fake humility. If you want to do good in the world, you don’t have to broadcast it to look like a decent human being. By all means, promote your causes, but this pabebe form of self-deprecating humor is not only, well, not funny, but it makes you look like a total tool.
6. Single-Use Items
As if the environmentalists on your feed don’t say it enough, it wouldn’t kill you to quit using single use items. Invest in a reusable lighter if you’re a smoker, buy reusable utensils and a water jug for use at work, use rags instead of paper towels and, say it with me now, “No straw, please!” Regardless of whether you want to leave trees and oceans for your future children to enjoy, just think of how much money you’ll save.
5. Designer Coffee
While your favorite coffee place might boast of sustainable coffee farming and conscious efforts to cut on waste, the coffee trade does more harm than good. Apart from the enormous amount of waste generated just to manufacture your favorite beverage, the coffee trade causes tremendous damage to forests, pollutes our water and forces farmers to resort to unsustainable methods of farming just to keep up with demand. And that isn’t even factoring in sugar, disposable cups and coffee pods.
We aren’t saying give up coffee, but buying beans and making yourself a cup in a press (without the use of filters) is a good place to start.
4. New Clothes
We can’t help wanting to reward ourselves. With the amount of malls in the Metro alone, it’s impossible not to want to go out for some retail therapy after a hard week at work or school. Materialism and capitalism aside, most people aren’t aware of the high cost of giving us access to affordable clothing. Child labor, sweat shops and poor pay aside, more used clothes are dumped rather than upcycled. The fact is that we don’t need racks upon racks of clothing for daily use. As a society, we would do well to invest in pieces that will last us decades rather than spending less on clothes that will give out after a year or even just months of use.
Coming from a society that has been influenced by so many different cultures, it’s easy to fall into patterns and behavior that make us guilty of bigotry. Throw in social media and a sense of entitlement, and you have thousands of different people on your feed inadvertently trying to shove their beliefs down your throat. More so with the elections coming up, avoid being one of them. Focus on educating yourself on the topics you’re passionate about to make informed decisions rather than falling prey to the hype and getting swept up in mob mentality.
2. Buying or Downloading Pirated Material
We don’t even need to remind you of the amount of work, time and talent that people put into their projects just to provide us with entertainment. Support the arts, especially local artists and performers. After all, you wouldn’t want someone ripping off your work and taking your earnings, would you?
1. Double Standards
It’s small things like clapping your bro on the back for hooking up with a new girl but telling your sister off for a short skirt that make society a dangerous place. For the next few weeks, try not to hold anyone else up to standards that you can’t hold yourself to. Not only will you give yourself the satisfaction of being politically correct and morally just, but you’ll also be leading others by example. More than making a sacrifice for your beliefs, Lent can be spent trying to make the world, or at least your immediate surroundings, a better place for everyone involved.
What other things do you think we would do well to give up for Lent? Share your thoughts in the comments below!