You wouldn't expect a serious response to a news story from me normally... and be not disappointed!!
In this morning's news I heard that apparently chocolate is good for getting rid of coughs.
There is an "active ingredient" in it which does something to the cough impulse in the brain apparently! I always find it pleasing when chocolate is attributed with a useful quality. Today was not the first. In August 1999 we were told that chocolate can help prevent cancer In October 2000, Novemebr 2001 and November 2004 we were told that the anti-oxidants in chocolate can help prevent cardiovascular disease.
However, I don't really need to be told of the benefits of chocolate. I've been aware of its many benefits for some time! Though perhaps the above are just some added bonuses.
However it does somewhat remind me of a rather excellent sermon I heard once at St Alban's Abbey. The preacher (one of the resident canons or someone - apologies that I don't remember who!) focussed on a reading about flowers from a somewhat obscure (and apocryphal) book like Baruch (scholars enlighten me please).
His point was that flowers are inherently pointless. That, in fact, pointlessness IS their function. In other words pointlessness is their point.
I have always rather thought the same about chocolate really. It has NO real function. No-one really NEEDS chocolate. It is the very fact that you don't NEED it that makes it a pleasure and a very welcome one at times. Do we need to know it has benefits to enjoy it? Can't we just love it for its pointless pleasure, just as we sniff the beautiful but rather pointless flowers that we are sometimes given and occasionally indulge in buying for ourselves? (Anyone inspired to indulge me with a gift of chocolate or flowers will be much appreciated!!!)
Of course a balanced argument must make at least SOME reference to the negative things about chocolate.
There must be some...
Ok we all know that choclate may contribute to an over-indulgence in calories but really, in the grand scheme of things, is eating chocolate really measuring high on the richter scale of sin? I think its pointless pleasure is enough to outweigh the wight gain. Do we not all need a little pointlessness sometimes?