“I believe that it’s important to try everything in life.” Every time I say this, people are quick to respond with “well not everything” to which I say “almost everything”. Of course, we should not be doing things that might put us in extreme danger like attempting suicide. At the same time, most things we are brought up to believe are bad or scary or wrong are not that bad and worth trying at least once. Most of us are taught by our parents for example to be leery of strangers and stay away from things like drugs and alcohol. Depending on our religion, we may also have certain lifestyle and dietary restrictions that we must honor. These restrictions are based on thousands of years of experience and given the many similarities in teachings across religions; you can conclude that they are meant to help us live happier, healthier lives. So, why would I advocate trying things even if they are considered bad according to our upbringing and/or religion? It’s because I believe that the reason these things are considered bad is not because they are bad per se but because when consumed or performed in excess, they can be bad for us. This is especially true of things like drugs and alcohol that have addictive properties and can easily lead us to consume them in excess.
I believe that God created this beautiful universe and put everything in it for us to experience. This includes both those things we consider to be good and those we consider to be bad. There is a reason why we were all born with the gift of curiosity in our nature. It’s so we could discover and enjoy the many beautiful things in life. When we try to control our curiosity because of the beliefs imposed upon us from our parents or religion, we don’t get rid of our curiosity – we feed it. Human nature is such that it only wants what it can’t have. This can manifest in many kinds of perverse behaviors like sexual abuse and molestation because you denied yourself the pleasure of sex for example or living a completely hypocritical lifestyle where you put up a front but did everything forbidden under the sun in private.
Another reason it’s important to try everything in life is because it exposes you to new ideas and experiences which broadens your horizons. You learn to appreciate different cultures, lifestyles and philosophies because you are not closed off and judgmental without even giving something a chance. You also learn to be more understanding and less critical of others’ choices and behaviors. On a personal level, trying new things builds our confidence because we learn to take risks and overcome our fears.
Lastly, you should try those so-called bad things at least once so you can realize that they are not all that great after all. For example, you might have made up the idea of drinking to be such a fun thing in your mind because you couldn’t do it or because others who drink made it sound so much fun. Once you try it, you may realize that you don’t enjoy it at all. Or you may discover that you do enjoy it in which case you would be better off from having that experience and enjoying it than denying it to yourself.
I am not suggesting that you should try things even if you have strong personal beliefs against them. If doing something such as wearing a hijab or preserving your virginity until marriage or not eating pork or not drinking has strong personal significance to you, you should absolutely honor that. But if it’s something you really want but are denying yourself simply because of your religion or what others would think of you, then you are better off just trying it. The prerequisite here of course is being able to control yourself and not get carried away with consuming or performing whatever that bad thing is in such excess that it becomes harmful to you.
So, whatever that taboo thing is that you can’t stop thinking about, just go for it and try it!