A month ago, Sterling challenged the readers of his blog to embrace a new form of Lent.
Instead of making a sacrifice, however, Sterling proposed that a positive substitution be made for a negative consumption choice. For an example, he cited his own pledge to make the switch from regular coffee to organic coffee for the next 40 days. Here is a link for those interested: http://sterlinglynch.wordpress.com/2009/02/25/a-new-lent-for-lapsed-catholics-and-anyone-else-who-wants-to-play-at-home/
I am not, nor have ever been, Catholic but after a period of resistance (see the thread) I also embraced the concept. At Sterling’s suggestion I swore that I would only drink organic beer in place of regular beer. Much to my surprise, this was a pledge that proved surprisingly easy to fulfil. With the discovery of Beaus lager, St. Peters, and Mill St. Original Organic Lager (Ontario’s first certified organic lager) I managed to make good on my oath. There is something very satisfying about relaxing in a pub while enjoying a fine organic larger. The smug feeling of moral superiority is definitley a large contributing factor. 🙂
I had a couple of moments of temptation. The first during an unplanned bowling game, beer and bowling are a natural fit. Apparently old bowling alleys that use computers dated from the Pac Man era (I say this with love) don’t typically stock organic lagers. The second was on St. Patrick’s day where I had a craving for a Guiness (I killed this craving with Jameson’s Irish whiskey effectively).
Unfotunately, I did recently have a lapse. I was out at a local pub where I had previously ordered a Mill St. lager. During the previous occasion, I specified that I was looking for an organic beer and this fine lager was brought to me in an attractive clear bottle. So last week while out with friends, I insisted that we go to this pub so I could indulge my craving for beer and meet my Lent obligations. I confidently ordered a Mill St. from the bartender and was surprised to see a pint coming my way. I did have a moment of hesitation, since this was in a different form, but rather than asking if this was the organic lager I drank it down. Mill St. has several products and only one is certified organic. Yep, that’s right the one served in bottles. I should have asked.
In spite of this moment of weakness, I will continue with my pledge for the rest of Lent. It actually isn’t that hard but it does take effort and vigilance. It’s a little late in the game for Lent, but I would like to extend the challenge to those of you reading this post. What positive consumption substitution would you be willing to make for the next 40 days?