The charm of the forbidden.


“There is a charm in the forbidden that makes it unspeakably desirable”.

Mark Twain



There is something appealing about the word forbidden. Even the first man, Adam, fell for it, because it all started with the forbidden fruit, right? Thanks to Shakespeare, we got the forbidden love through Romeo and Juliet. We have also heard about the forbidden land (Eureka for gamers) or the forbidden city in China. And let’s not forget to mention the F… word, also known as the forbidden word, even though, depending on how it is expressed, it can sometimes convey more emotions than a whole sentence!

In fact, there is nothing more exciting, more thrilling than to go into the forbidden zone to test the waters and find out for ourselves the dangers hidden behind. Forbid a child to touch something, chances are, that’s exactly what he/she will end up doing. As scared as he might be, the temptation will be too high to not give in. Because that’s how we, as humans, are wired. We are explorers! We need answers and for that, sometimes we need to break the rules, otherwise we will never find out! It is in our genes and it shows up quite early in life!

Unfortunately, today we live in a era in which all harsh words or too negative expressions do not belong! If you look around, you will notice that the word forbidden has been banned (sorry for the wordplay, couldn’t resist!) in favor of two new expressions: not allowed and spam. We are surrounded by signs that go from “no cigarettes allowed” to “no pets allowed” and everything in between. Even my kids who are 4 and 7 have put signs on their bedroom door that specify: “no adults allowed!”. We now have spam words for words that should be banished or no longer be used in certain contexts.

However, history has proven over and over again that anything taboo, prohibited, banned, outlawed, proscribed, illegal or unconstitutional, always ends up being a failure. Why? Because at one point, the forbidden turns into the norm, hence losing its appeal. All it takes is one person who has the will to change the nature of things and the rest will follow. Those who stray too far from the sidewalk are the ones who are not afraid to go against what society, or God, expect from them. They don’t abide by the rules, don’t adhere to the establishment and they usually are the ones who end up redefining our society!


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