5 Vices That Aren’t So Bad After All
Find out which bad habits might actually be good for you in the long run—in moderation, of course.
Experts claim that there are environmental and health reasons not to eat meat, but an all-or-nothing approach is impossible
for some people. I’m one of them. So I’ve chosen to be a weekday vegetarian instead. For those five days, I eat meatless meals
with healthy fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. On the weekends, I yield to my cravings for pork, beef, and chicken. Once
I started eating a pork chop or a hamburger only occasionally, it became something special. Now I appreciate meat’s flavor
and its ability to satisfy me even more.
Graham Hill is the New York City–based founder of the eco-blogs TreeHugger.com and LifeEdited.com.
Religious and secular scholars alike agree that envy is awful. It hurts to be jealous of people who are wealthier or more
beautiful than you are. But schadenfreude—the pleasure you get from the misfortune of someone else—can feel great. For example,
you’re ecstatic when your mean boss is caught cheating on her taxes and faces a penalty, or when the demanding movie star
who belittles everyone around him is caught in an embarrassing situation. You’re not rejoicing that these people are suffering,
but rather that the karmic system works. We all want to believe that what goes around comes around.
John Portmann is a professor of moral history at the University of Virginia, in Charlottesville, and the author of When Bad Things Happen to Other People ($32, amazon.com).
While I was growing up, my mother made it clear to me that sex was supposed to happen only within the context of marriage
and was not to be spoken about. Still, I began reading romance novels at age 12, and by the time I was in college, I began
questioning the absurd duality of what I’d been taught: If sex is healthy and normal, why can’t we talk about it? Even today
we have to fight the conventional thinking that says good girls aren’t lustful. Sex is an essential and pleasurable component
in any intimate relationship, and it goes hand in hand with the natural desire for love. Not acknowledging your desires is
as damaging as acting on them impulsively.
Sabrina Jeffries is the best-selling author of 34 romance novels, including ’Twas the Night After Christmas ($20, amazon.com), out this month. She lives in Cary, North Carolina.