Saturday, April 29, 2023

Forbidden Fruit

[Originally published in the Monroe News on April 28, 2023]

I imagine you might be familiar with the idea of the forbidden fruit.  Its origins, of course, come from that all too unfortunate moment in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve partake of the forbidden fruit. God had forbidden them to eat of the fruit on the tree in the midst of the Garden, the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and after some temptation from the serpent this is the very fruit that they choose to eat.  Ever since this terrible fall into sin, we have all been party to history repeating itself as we too partake of forbidden fruit in our lives  The true nature of our human nature has revealed itself in that we are constantly drawn to and tempted by the very things which are forbidden for us. 

Psychologists have deemed this the “forbidden fruit effect.”  They say it boils down to man’s curiosity and this desire to learn about things unknown and to explore the consequences.  It also has something to do with our rebellious side and our innate desire for freedom without restraint.  Mark Twain once described it “There is a charm about the forbidden that makes it unspeakably desirable.”

While this forbidden fruit effect can be seen in many facets of our life from children challenging the limits of their parents authority to us as adults exploring unhealthy relationships, it is perhaps easiest to understand by sticking to the realm from which it all started: food.  We spend much of our lives telling ourselves we shouldn’t eat certain foods because they are bad for us.  We even make pacts with ourselves to give up certain foods which are particular vices for us.  Most diet plans revolve around groups of foods that we choose to deny ourselves with the hopes of improving our well-being.  

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