Have you ever walked barefoot on soft and slippery mud, and had the soles of your feet pierced by the wonderfully beautiful bougainvillea thorn?
Have you ever gritted your teeth in pain as a hundred or maybe even a thousand fire ants, crawled inside your clothes, biting you from within with no recourse for you but to lose your mind forcing yourself not to shout at what fate has brought you?
If not, then ladies and gentlemen, I’d like you to meet pain.
Meet this multifaceted creature that attacks on all fronts: the body, the mind and the soul. Like most of life’s hidden enemies, pain requites with an avenging force of a discreet nature. Sometimes, its overt attacks are easily perceived, but more often than not, its slow, decaying and tortorous advances seep through inside us, without us having a thought as to its existence.
Ironically, it could be the torture wittingly or unwittingly imposed upon us by those whom we love the most.
Once the mind has been infested with this, they grow as fast as a termite colony in a jungle unsullied by the tempers of men. Pain crawls around your brain as if reminding you of every single moment that it has touched your life. Yes, once is enough for it to gain strength and power and yes, it is very difficult to remove.
Pain has the power to make you hate yourself
Logic dictates that if you have not met this creature called pain, you would then learn not to succumb to its auspices. For how can you wittingly hurt that which you cherish the most and guard with all your might?
For those who have not had the displeasure of knowing this creature, you might not know it yet, but it’s there to gnaw on your subconscious, festering with the temperament of a fire that simply would not die down.
Oftentimes, we hold such notions as “that which will not kill you, will only make you stronger” thanks to Friedrich Nietzsche, which in this particular case, is not at all appropriate for those of us who smoke.
Smoking is an all too slow method of suicide
It is one that brings dangerous illusions of pleasure and contentment as if the wisps of smoke carry it with them. For what it’s worth, that is what it is on its face value.
But that’s not the point of my writing this. The objective is to thresh out the details of this dire malady so that we could witness the fruition of everything that is and everything that is supposed to be.
“Life is good if you make it so for others“
Let’s start from there and I’d like to have you repeat, believe and cherish it with all your heart and with all your soul.
For a moment, try to imagine a life where you simply lose yourself in a way that you’ve lost something to a thief, but not totally losing the very essence of life itself.
Do away with all your inhibitions and self love for a moment, albeit momentarily and see yourself as a constituent, as a servant, as a unit of life that plays a minute role in the grand scheme of things.
Too often than not, and with large fault credited mainly to marketing and the desire of others to fulfill themselves, we are led to believe that the ideal life is a life that is full of selfish desires.
We are conditioned from the very beginning with a mixture of selfish thoughts about life enmeshed with mistaken notions of “the good”. And they are fused quite vociferously yet subtly.
For instance, to live a good life – we must live the dream. We must own a nice car, a large and beautiful house, the security of an investment portfolio that would simply not bow down to the tides of the normal economic course of most mortals. We must be happy in a sense – materially and with the security of having what we need most of the time.
We confuse ourselves at times, by thinking of it in such a way that we are “living the life” of simplicity. We just need to pay the bills, we just need to buy some food, go out every now and then, buy some cake or ice cream for the kids, and so on and so forth.
Is that “the life”?
Smoking impedes our ability to serve others better and more
If you truly believe that “Life is good if you make it so for others” then know for a fact that smoking will severely depreciate your ability to make it so for others. More so, how can you serve if you are sickly and tired most of the time?
Sometimes, we indulge ourselves in minute actions to fulfill our desire to have a moment of peace and solitude. Of this, we are reminded of hobbits, gleefully and peacefully smoking a pipe as Saruman marshalls his army. Imagine how Middle Earth would have been if Frodo did not set out to fulfill his mission and just smoked happily with his uncle?
Now let’s get back to pain, I can assure you that as a smoker you will inflict more pain on others if you indulge more of it.
Let’s not even talk about the dangers brought about by second hand smoke, let’s delve deeper.
I lost my father when I was 25, he was 49. He died just when he was at the peak of his career as a lawyer. He died at an age that was full of promise, not just for himself but for others.
He was a rabid smoker, oftentimes smoking 2 to 3 packs a single day. Throughout his life, as a lawyer and as a person, he served others to the best of his abilities. His, was a life of service, well lived.
Too often than not, when people who knew him talk to me, they would often say “sayang” or “such a loss”.
Just imagine how many more people he could have made happy if he was fit and alive to this very day.
Now, you dear reader, are my father.
Now, you are the person who served others and cheerfully did so and only derived this pleasure from these selfless acts.
You need to live, that’s all I ask of you.
You need to be healthy.
You need to be here.
You need to be strong and breathing happy.
You, dear reader, are important to me.
- Creative Commons Image via Flickr: Navaneeth K.N. Some Rights Reserved