The Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English defines temptation as a strong
desire to have or to do something even though you know you should not.
Therefore, the word connotes that if we yield to a temptation, we are being
ill-disciplined and perhaps want to taste the forbidden fruits. It has a
negative connotation if we yield to that temptation as it is not socially
Temptations exist everywhere in the world. They can be in the form
of buying branded goods, eating fried food when one's health does not permit it
or being tempted to take things easy, laze around and not do a task easily and
efficiently even though the deadline is drawing near.
Temptation is a perennial problem in life
and whether one gives in to it depends on one's character or more specifically
one's discipline and will. Discipline and will are formed by one's values or the
lessons learnt from giving in to temptations in the past. For example, a student
may be tempted by his peers to go shopping and take things easy even though a
major test is drawing near. If he does not yield to the temptation, it is
perhaps because from young, he has been trained to recognize that indulging in
short term pleasures like shopping or frittering away one's time will hinder
one's pursuit of desired goals in life such as studying to do well in the
examinations. It could also be that in the past he had yielded to temptation
before and in this case, a lack of discipline to study, which resulted in bad
A young student may be tempted to indulge in illegal methods like cheating,
lying or stealing. As a teen, the temptations of illicit pleasures like smoking,
taking drugs and gambling beckon to him. As a young adult, he may be tempted to
drink, charge immoderate expenses to his credit card, or lie in his resume.
Growing older, he may be tempted to eat foods which are not suitable for his
health or age. Elderly people may sometimes succumb to the temptations of con
men who lure them with get-rich schemes if they were to invest their hard-earned
savings with them.
Why is giving in to temptations socially frowned upon? This is because of the
harmful results from giving in to such. A person who tries smoking harms his
body and may even move on to drugs. A drug addict is a burden to himself, his
loved ones and to society. An accountant who yields to the temptation of
siphoning off his company's funds will face the odium
of social disgrace to himself when the crime is discovered.
All said and done, temptations are attractive by nature. This is often in the
nature of forbidden fruit. The grass always looks greener on the other side.
That milk shake may add unwanted calories to the slim woman, but it is itself a
temptation because it is forbidden and seldom indulged in. A diabetic craves for
a dessert because of the joys of sugar which he is forbidden to indulge in.
Someone who does not yield to temptation is respected in society. A
politician who is incorruptible or a husband who is faithful upholds desired
moral standards in society. Imagine a society where people give in to
temptations like beating traffic laws or going on spending
binges. The moral fabric of society will be eroded. Temptations
must therefore be recognized for what they are - seductive attractions not to be