Sunday, August 15, 2010

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. ~Aristotle

depressed_smokers1This may come as a surprise to some of you, but there once was a time in my life when I was easily dismissed.  I would allow others to convince me that my opinion was either not accurate, or better yet, I would be lead to believe that it wasn't really my opinion at all.  To help you understand, I offer this illustration:

Child: "Mommy, I want to go outside and play in the snow"

Mommy: "Honey, it is too cold to go outside right now, you don't want to go out there"

Child: Hmm.  I could have sworn I wanted to go outside and play in the snow.  This big person seems to know everything else, maybe I don't want to go outside after all.

The above is just an example, but imagine if this scenario is something the child experiences often enough that it becomes a part of their being.  They allow others to tell them what they want.  What they should do for a living.  What their opinions are.  I had no idea that even did this until I got on the roller coaster ride of events that occurred during the last couple of years.  They say awareness is the key.  So here we are.

This is not to say that I run around town on a soapbox telling everyone what I think all the time.  I'm not making decisions willy nilly like, without thinking of the effects those decisions have on others.  What I am saying is that I don't mind rockin the boat sometimes.  I do try to pick my battles wisely.  Frankly some things just aren't worth the fight, with myself or others.  There are a few subjects that are exempt from my self censor though.  Now you, my lucky reader, get to hear my rant about one of these subjects.

Smokers. (Said with slight disdain and a snarled lip)

I am not a smoker, nor have I ever been a smoker.  Sure, I puffed on a few back in high school and college while I as out with friends.  I just don't never picked up on the allure of this habit.  I don't understand how people keep smoking knowing it makes them smell, their teeth yellow, it discolors their home, makes their car smell, and not to mention IT WILL KILL THEM.  It's a minor detail but I thought I would mention it.

I have very few friends that smoke.  I can count on one hand the people in my life that have made a decision to harm their health and those with whom they come in contact.   What baffles me, is these people I know that smoke are good people.  They have jobs, contribute to society and raise their kids well.  They generally make good decisions, and yet they smoke.  Let's talk about how this decision affects their children.

  • The adult decreases the amount of time they get to spend with the child.  The adult might be hiding while smoking and is cutting years off their life by smoking.

  • Lets say the adult is hiding while they smoke...what does that say to the child about the habit?

  • The adult is cutting years off the child's life by smoking in front of them or in the home.  Statistics show that children with smoking parents are twice as likely to start smoking between age 13 and 21.

  • The adult is wasting good money that could go in a college fund.

None of this is to say I think smokers are bad people. On the contrary, my mother was one of the very best people I knew.  That was before she DIED  before her 59th birthday because her LUNG CANCER spread to her brain.  I know smoking is an addictive habit that is hard to kick.  I don't care what people do as long as it is not harming others.  You want to kill yourself?  More power to ya.  The issue I have is when adults make a decision to harm the kids that have no control over the situation.  Should I be so bold to consider it child abuse?

Think about this the next time you light up or a loved one does.