I was slowly working my way through my pile of unread e-mail a few minutes ago and a friend sent me a short video in the e-mail attachment. The video was about a young couple that fell in love and later got married and had a child together. The normal path, right? It is, but for a one, minor detail. The mother doesn't have arms. She is without her both arms from her shoulders down. But she goes shopping, changes diapers and takes care of her son, runs a small internet based business and goes to gym. In fact it looked like she did everything by herself - everything a normal mother would do. And whether the video was a fake or not isn't really important. What's important is that if you set your heart on fire, if you really decide then almost anything can be achieved.
Many people say this is only a saying that bears no resemblance to everyday life. And in a way they're right. Because many people today are incapable of devoting themselves to one thing, to one goal so fully and absolutely. Many people today act like even the normal daily events are too much for them to handle - what with trying to achieve another goal. At least that's my view of things.
I will never be able to understand why people smoke. Why they continue to do so when they know the risks, when they know it's the kind of thing people die from. I cannot (even if I tried) understand how one can have such a reckless attitude towards one's own life. As if you're talking about a person (you don't really care about) doing something harmful to them. Whenever I mention the possibility that smoking kills to a smoker they say something that vaguely resembles: "Not me, though..." or "I don't really smoke all that much..." or "I can quit whenever I want to - it's not addiction."
But they don't quit. They continue puffing away even if only a couple cigarettes a day. And over years a couple cigarettes become many thousand cigarettes and they still don't care. They're smoking their life away. And don't care. How can someone be so reckless? What sort of a person wants to die a slow, painful and premature death? If one likes dying so much, they have all the means to end their lives early. But no - they take the stylish and longer route - they smoke it away.
Then comes - "My grandpa smoked two packs of cigarettes a day and died at 90 years of age. See - smoking doesn't really kill." No, it doesn't. Smoking doesn't always kill. But it leads to frequent pulmonary infections, emphysema, heart disease and even blindness. That's right. You can become blind from smoking. But keep on going - because none of these (http://www.ash.org.uk/html/factsheets/html/basic02.html) can affect you. Not you, because you're a smoker. Everything just bounces off you - you're not going to die because of smoking. At least you're not going to allow yourself to think you're dying because of smoking.
The thing is - many people say I've just got this thing about smokers and that they're my pet peeve and that's the reason I like to lash out at them. And it's not true. I, personally, don't even have a thing against smokers as people - as unique personalities and charming fellows. What really gets to me is their attitude that smoking doesn't kill. A friend's mother is dying from lung cancer as we speak - she's in the last stages and doesn't have more than a few days left. Her son stopped smoking immediately. But he never stopped before. He knew - everybody knows smoking kills - but he didn't do anything about it. Acting in this passive, reckless, almost cynical way, acting as though things don't really concern you, acting as though this talk about smoking related diseases is only the buzzing of an annoying fly to you - now THIS REALLY GETS TO ME.
How can one not care for his own well being? One eats when he's hungry, one drinks when she's thirsty, one has sex, lives in a house to keep warm, breathes, talks to other people to satisfy their social needs. One does all this to keep healthy and yet one smokes.
I suppose the reason smokers don't quit is that they can go on long enough (for years, even decades) without problems and when the health problems become a reality they've been smoking for so long it's difficult to quit. Almost impossible. But it's almost impossible to be a mother to a child if you don't have arms. And yet, some people manage it. The other problem - as I see it - is that people don't collapse everytime they light a cigarette, so before the problems arise, the habit of smoking has well sunk in. And to ditch a habit is very difficult indeed, but not impossible. If one likes life, if they like people around them, then surely they will want to continue their life and live to ripe old age. Or at least attempt to do so.
Stop smoking. Do it now. Do it for yourself. Read Ash (http://www.ash.org.uk/), read all of them and then consciously and responsibly say you can continue smoking without feeling you're harming yourself. Read http://www.mdsupport.org/library/nosmoke.html on how smoking leads to blindness and say you don't mind becoming blind if you can still smoke your cigarettes. If you continue smoking and do so completely aware of the facts and can continue to do so without a reckless outlook at life, then you're a lost case and I give up.
But it doesn't mean I won't regularly and repeatedly tell you you're harming yourself. Honestly - would you jump in front of a speeding car, completely aware of the fact you might as well die? If yes, continue smoking. Please do. Or just walk on the highway. A car might hit you in no time.