The Image of the Smoking Habit

I’ve put a lot of effort into my image.

It’s all about image. Images invade and shape our imagination more efficiently than words can. This is why temples are full of images and statues. This is also the reason we see so many billboards around us and it is the same reason why image-intensive social media such as Facebook fares better than less image intensive social media such as Myspace. And this is also why no images of humans or god(s) are allowed in Islam. We look at the cross and we know exactly what is up. Man dares stand up to the establishment and the establishment strikes man down and hangs him up on the cross. Image is what got us into smoking in the first place, because of the associations we make to the image of smoking as children. We make naive associations as children and we are not yet able to connect the dots. As kids we want desperately to be adults and in our desperation to be grown up quick we start to imitate the adults in our lives. We learn from our parents how to talk and how to behave. We behave like the adults and so we become the adults. If the adults have some habit, we copy it. Such a hobby may be the way mommy crosses her legs when she sits down and some recurring gesture daddy makes when he’s trying to make an important point on how to properly grill a steak. When adults smoke, we want to smoke as well. It is only human nature. Despite the adults’ futile attempts to inform us of the negative effects, “It´s bad for your health and I never want to catch you smoking ever! Do you understand?!” says daddy as he exhales the cigarette smoke and effortlessly flips the T-bone on the grill, we want to do what the adults do. We want to behave like the people we look up to, without considering the consequences of those actions. Monkey sees monkey does, monkey not reason much too well. We don’t consider addiction, let alone understand it when we are children. We don’t consider negative health effects. We just want to be cool like the grown-ups. We want to be grown-ups and we want it now! Childish thinking at it’s best; wanting something that is obviously not possible. Becoming an adult is about passage of time allowing for mental and psychical changes to take place, time that we as children are unwilling to wait, we want the what is not possible. How can we achieve that? Children achieve that everyday using imagination. Unable to flap our arms fast enough to fly? Simple, we close our eyes and imagine we are flying. We try to come up with a solution to the problem of growing up and we do find it, we figure that we don’t have to wait all the time needed to become adults because we don’t have to be adults, we just need to feel like adults, we just need the feeling of being an adult and we can create that using our imagination and the props that the adults use. We use cigarettes to add to the realness of the fantasy. We can feel like adults and still be children, we can act like adults when it fits us and we can go back to being kids when like to, and we can have the time of our lives. We can both have the cake and eat it, using our imagination. In fact, many of today’s problems would easily be solved if we allowed ourselves to use our imagination to break away from our limitations instead of bringing our limitations into our imagination and by doing so crippling ourselves.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.