Spending millions to tell Joe that life is a bitch…
While some readers (probably “most”) will totally disagree with the premise that I used as the title of this essay (though an intellectually humble person would have hold his judgment until finding out what I mean), I think it’s reasonable for me to assume that most readers will agree with my second premise:
Most (if not all) smokers (sane smokers) know, before smoking a cigarette, smoking is bad for health.
That leads inevitably to the question: Aren’t we blindly relying on “awareness” in our attempt to resolve something that isn’t really caused by lack of awareness?
To put it more bluntly, aren’t we deceiving ourselves relying on campaigns as “Smoking Kills”, “Smoking causes cancer”, and “Smoking causes impotence ” (which, without fail, tell the average human being what he already knows, i.e., that smoking is not good for health), in our attempt to reduce, if not eliminate, smoking?
Well, (even though I too, like most concerned people, might not know which the right tree is) I think that we are barking up the wrong tree.
If my second assumption is close to reality, then one can reasonably think that in the middle of a campaign as “Smoking kills”, “Smoking causes cancer”, etc., lies the assumption that smoker’s ignorance is the cause of his addiction. But, isn’t that akin to attributing a starving man’s stealing a loaf of bread to his ignorance; instead of he being hungry, his country’s unequal distribution of wealth, or his fear to starvation —which is imposed by man’s innate survival instinct?
As stated, almost all of the countless criminals who are in prison because of, for example, having committed a robbery, knew well, before stealing, theft is bad. Furthermore, I doubt there are any would-be-criminals who were “saved” a few seconds before committing a crime, by the mere act of recalling what your average anti-crime campaign feeds us, i.e., “Crime does not pay”.
Using False Teeth to Prevent Loss of Teeth…
Apart from our common ignorance attributing the ignorance of a hungry man for stealing food, we employ a big effort to get rid of the thieves, instead of working hard to get rid of the causes that led these men to rob.
As an example that illustrates our childish habit of devoting our resources to eradicate symptoms rather than causes, we could use so-called “correctional facilities” in our quest to eradicate crime: “correctional facilities” are no more than an attempt to shape human behavior to the wishes of a civilization in power, instead of shaping civilization according to the needs of man.
In yet another attempt by governors to fool the governed, or to appear as if they were at least doing something about it, rulers cage the so-called criminals in institutions called prisons, instead of trying to eradicate the conditions, or discomforts, which succeeded to persuade or influence them to steal, kill or rape. Most “illegal” activities have been with us since the day we invented the law.
In short, what kills is not the cigarette, but the reasons why one smokes.
Real men do smoke – Dugutigui’s approach on essay by Mokhonoana Mokokoma