If I were to say “I’m going to quit smoking” to some of my friends, I would probably get a “How many times is that now?” type of response. I’ll be honest, I don’t like hearing that. But, it makes sense. I’ve quit smoking and started back up more times than I can count. It isn’t surprising that some people have lost their faith in my determination to quit. Well, I think this time is going to be different.
It’s ironic, actually. The other night I was smoking a cigarette after reading about how second-hand smoke kills people. Now, I’ve always known that second-hand smoke was harmful to other people. It’s not something I’ve denied before it’s just something I never put a lot of thought into. I started really thinking about it, though, and it started to disturb me. I started thinking more about it and I came to realize a few different reasons for quitting that have really created motivation to quit for good.
- By smoking, I pollute the atmosphere. By polluting the atmosphere, I negatively impact this planet which subsequently impacts humanity.
- I contribute to second-hand smoke which has been a proven cause of death. I don’t need to explain how that is negatively impactful on humanity.
- Smoking shortens my life span. It makes me unhealthy, which effects my capacity to be happy during the time I’m around. If I’m unhappy, or at least not as happy as I can be, I won’t be able to spread as much happiness as possible to those around me. And the shorter my lifespan, the shorter amount of time I actually have to spread happiness to others and positively contribute to our future. This is an indirect, but still a very real, impact on humanity.
Now, I’ll be honest, it’s really easy to say: “What does it matter? I’m only one person, I’m not contributing enough to actually harm humanity.” Well, technically, that is very true. I’m only one person in a world with seven billion others. The problem, however, is that a very large majority of people feel the exact same way. The collective decision of all those individuals to continue smoking is enough to significantly harm humanity. That is when I truly started to realize the potential of a single individual. I began to understand that, in order to move our species forward, to improve humanity and make it the very best it can, we must start at an individual level.
It was at that moment that I was inspired to start my “A better me, a better humanity” initiative. I’ve made it a personal goal of mine to contribute as much as humanly possible to the well being of our species and our planet.