Do I Smoke?
fit in with my peers, I feel that I have to learn how
to smoke. Otherwise, they will start to think I am ‘uncool.’”
assume you are a teenager, and based on your query I
can also see that you worry about yourself: the image
you project to others, your desire to be accepted and
become successful. Sometimes, this means trying to find
another group outside your own family that makes you
feel you belong. But can you be sure that this other
group will accept you on the fact of your smoking alone?
What guarantee do you have that you will not be isolated
and abandoned by them later on? And most importantly,
how are you going to go about the business of growing
these questions could stir anxiety and fear in your
mind. These need an outlet, a re-orientation of priorities
and values. It is typical and common at this stage for
young people to “try out grown-up stuff,”
like smoking and drinking alcohol. Seeing someone smoking
projects that impression that one is accomplished or
successful, or that he is already independent and not
tied under the strings of one’s parents anymore.
It is an illusion that idle minds are willing to believe.
first, they just want to try out what they see many
of their peers doing. Eventually, several of them outgrow
the excitement and decide to end the experiment. But
others go on until they will have reached a particular
saturation point, a certain maturity. However, unfortunately,
there are those who will end up with a real addiction
that will last a long time or even a lifetime. What
can we do?
of all, let’s be rational. This helps us understand
that to be our own person does not mean experimenting
with things that we know are detrimental to our health
and are likely to create complications and trouble later
on. Why not find that passion or endeavor closest to
your heart, like sports or the arts? You might just
find the right crowd of people who will share your interests.
They would be more fun to be with when you decide to
go watch a movie or simply hang out after a game or
arts class. Keeping one’s mind preoccupied with
positive and worthwhile things will definitely have
no room for temptation.
try to think about what binds you to that group of friends
whom you want to be with but whom you think will require
you to smoke like them. What else do you have in common
with them aside from that? Can you see yourself 5-10
years henceforth still be hanging out with this group
of people, smoking?
to that voice within you, your conscience, which tells
you to apply the brakes when it senses something amiss.
Treat this as your “values gauge,” where
that feeling of uncertainty and anxiety tugs at your
heart whenever you tend to do something that goes against
those important values instilled in you by your upbringing
in the family. Listening to that voice makes you free
and peaceful at all times.
Karla with Ezio Aceti