Lent a time to reflect on self-improvement

Two weeks down, a little over four more to go.

Lent is a special time of year when people all over the world work to become better Christians, better servants and better people.

First established in A.D. 325, Lent has a deeper meaning than many of us give credit.

According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, “The purpose of Lent is to provide that purification by weaning men from sin and selfishness through self-denial and prayer, by creating in them the desire to do God’s will and to make His kingdom come by making it come first of all in their hearts.”

That’s a little heavier than my annual sacrifice of not drinking coffee.

It has led me to an understanding that the whole goal of Lent isn’t just to give up coffee for 40 days and then drink three pots on Easter morning. I think it is a time of reflection that should be used to figure out what could make one a better person, and to embrace the changes that come along with that.

I’ve also given up road rage, which on some Freudian level probably means I am lacking patience in my life. People who give up something as addictive as coffee or nicotine might find themselves lacking self-control in other parts of their lives. People who give up cursing might discover that they need to be more cognizant of others.

Everyone has a personal demon with which he or she struggles.

It’s not just religious ideology that says people should strive to be better; it seems quite obvious that it’s what we all should strive for as human beings.

Even if your religious preference – or lack thereof – makes you hesitant of observing Lent, it’s about something deeper.

While in college, we strive to become educated and socially cognizant. We strive to earn the respect of our peers.

I can’t think of a better way to start than taking a few days to think about those things in our lives that could improve.

In whatever context you’d like to look at it, this could be good for you.

Ashley Tambunga is a junior English major from Fort Worth.