Only the addict of the modern day world is refusing to heed the warnings on the box. They exist if you look closely.
Fifteen years ago I was a smoker. My morning routine was a cigarette and a cup of coffee. I enjoyed it. I would go so far as to say I loved it.
But if I go back over 30+ years ago, I have a vague recollection of taking a drag off of my first cigarette and spending the next few hours wanting to vomit while swearing to myself that I would never smoke again. That was truth at the time but in the end, a lie to myself.
When someone enables our bad behavior, it’s almost justifiable. It’s part of peer pressure, being cool and socially connected. It’s when we rewire our own brains to enable destructive behavior that deep-seated problems abound.
As a smoker, smoking was a guilty pleasure. When I reflect back at the choice, it was nothing of the sort. It was my brain rewiring itself to get more nicotine. I was an addict. That is addiction. The process of our brain pretending that something evil and bad for us is good.
Today, it’s on the box. Smoking kills. It is very hard for a smoker to justify their choice to a non- smoker. Borderline impossible. Smoking kills you and those around you, yet many people still smoke because their brains have been self-rewired to not view smoking as bad. It is. It’s on the box.
Many things in America are like that today. At first view, we see them as wrong and then over time; we rewire our brains to deny the problem completely or to make believe it’s not that bad. Examples of this rewiring are how some deny Covid, mask use, the gun debate, health insurance, bipartisan politics and systemic racism. As a nation, we have developed a mentality that defines ourselves in opposition of each other, not in fact or truth or ultimately, what is in the best interest of the nation.
Covid exists. It has killed 180,000 American citizens since March. Globally, we are at war against a virus yet some want to deny it because brunch, sports and school are on hold. That’s life. That’s war. Get over it and accept the new now.
Which leads me to mask use. Just like cigarettes, second hand air can now kill. Wear a mask. It’s your responsibility as a non-murdering fellow citizen. Simple as that. Murderers kill. Civilized people protect others.
Protecting ourselves and families is a right. The second amendment gave Americans the right to bear arms and protect ourselves and families. Before that, it gave Americans the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Put that all in the proverbial blender and logic will prevail. An assault rifle is for assault not protection. Assault is illegal. Therefore assault rifles should be illegal too. And background checks should include mental health checks. If someone has mental health issues, they need mental health care which is medical care. If someone is sick enough that we are worried about them purchasing a gun, care and treatment should be easy to access.
And yes, medical care for all is a right included in being a citizen of a nation. We pay taxes. Those taxes should be used to ensure that citizens are protected at a global, national and personal level. That includes healthcare, dental and mental. No one should be afraid of visiting of the co-payment, bill and premium costs. Being sick sucks enough.
If those whom we have elected do provide protection, then they are unfit to do their job and should be removed. Bipartisan politics is the biggest problem and fraud the world has ever known. There are two parties whose primary purpose it to get Americans spending money and not debating each other over semantic bullshit like abortion, gun rights, marijuana legality and more.
Last but not least is systemic racism. If you are white, your voice should be silent with the exception of showing solidarity and support. It’s the same reason why men should not have a voice in abortion at a legislative level. It doesn’t affect them. At home, a different story.
The social agreement that humanity is built on is simply I will do you no harm and you will do me no harm. Yet many support harm; Covid deniers, anti-maskers, weapons designed not to protect but to assault, candidates against Medical Care for All, pro bipartisan politicians and constituents and HATE.
The fabric of humanity lies in the idea that we will do more good than harm. When our choices do more harm than good our brains have simply rewired that promise to never smoke after our first drag as a lie. There should be no debate between basic right and wrong. Consequences, sure. In the end, if you are in a semantic debate, ask yourself is the answer written on the box?
- All works at Observations from the Spectrum written by Dylan Netter
- On? a third point of view – book of Essays
- Marinehippie.com podcast w/ Docstodden.com – dialogue exploring politics and musings of life
- Horizoncoaching.org – English Tutor and Guide