This entry was inspired by The Daily Post. I was going to call it “Why Should I Care?” but I’ll get to that in a moment. The fact is, both titles would have been appropriate for today’s blog, so I’ll start by saying who I am and why I’m here.
Firstly I’m an ex-smoker. I can say that openly here, because my blog is all about quitting smoking. I wouldn’t expect to get much mileage out of that statement at a job interview. “And what other dubious talents do you bring us today, Mr Kross?” they might ask.
I’m a father of two teenagers and an international businessman, or rather I was a businessman. I’ve worked for ‘big corporate’ on two continents and across multiple countries. I’ve had a lot of responsibility and earned some good money. But, I don’t really care for that. I’ve never really craved much money or possessions. Sure, I enjoy living life in relative comfort, but that will always be enough. I want to do something different with my life now.
For several years I’ve wanted to write. Recently I was made redundant and I now have that opportunity. I’ve already hidden a few topics up my sleeve, with 52 years of life experience and its ups and downs to bring forth. But for now I shall be writing about quitting smoking. Why? Because I think it’s important. I didn’t used to think that.
I used to think that people should be able to do what they want, so long as they’re not breaking the law or causing harm to others. If someone wants to mess their life up by doing drugs or alcohol, having risky sex, or slowly killing themselves by overeating or smoking, then that is their problem, right? I thought the same of my own situation. It’s my right to inflict damage upon myself, so long as it’s not illegal and not harming anybody. That was a mistake.
One day not so long ago, I was watching TV with my father. It was a program about loan shark businesses, companies who advance money in exchange for huge financial repayments. The question that came up was whether these companies should be regulated by the government. I said that people shouldn’t be so stupid as to get themselves into such a situation in the first place. My father argued that people are not always aware of what they are getting themselves into, and that taking a loan with one of the sharks seems like the most viable solution to them at that time, hence the need for outside control. Touche.
Also not long ago, I was talking with my partner about self-inflicted harm. My point was once again that if someone wants to be reckless and potentially kill themselves, then so what? My partner immediately pointed out that the person harming them self was only a part of the whole equation. Everybody else in that persons entourage would also be affected. My thinking was clearly that of an egotist. Strike two!
Both of those situations struck a chord with me. I wouldn’t say that they were monumental revelations, but they were certainly enough to shift my thinking in the direction of trying to help people who might not otherwise be able to help themselves, and to be more empathetic toward those who find themselves victims of another’s reckless behavior.
Now you know a little about “who I am and why I’m here.” Hopefully, over time you will learn more about me and about my goals in helping others to quit smoking. In the meantime, to answer the question “why should I care?” I have always cared, but I care even more now.