I quit smoking..
This is the story of this particular day which made a drastic change in my lifestyle, I hope it changes your perception as well.
All of us who have a smoking habit meet up with friends or colleagues and smoke our time out.
My friend's invitation for a cup of tea will start with obvious question, "Hey Dude, which brand?" and the answer would be either a Marlboro or a Classic Mild. Being well educated we all know the harmful effects of smoking a cigarette and how it affects people around us who don't have this habit. (Yes, even passive smokers have a great chance of having diseases related to smoking) At times its just our attitude which forces us to smoke and its not actually the urge of smoking a cigarette.
It is about this day when we were at this tea stall near a temple with some beggars rounding us for alms. One of them in particular was a grey-haired, wrinkled old beggar woman who approached us with her walking stick for alms of one rupee or more to help her buy lunch for herself. We looked at her and refused to oblige and asked her that how will a rupee get her a meal. She said that she will collect more alms and get the meal for herself. We crushed our half burnt cigarettes with our shoes and moved forward without giving her any alms. She mumbled when we turned.... "These young men will burn more than a rupee for their bad habit but will never give a rupee to a hungry person."
I didn't say a word to her and went inside the temple but her words were hitting back on me and it was making me really sick about the whole feeling.
After a while when we came out from the temple we saw that the old women was sharing her lunch with another girl who had failed to collect enough alms for her meal.
I went to the beggar and questioned the old women of who the other girl was and she told me about her. (No, the girl was not related to her ) I asked her "You didn't know whether you'll get your lunch for today and here you are sharing your meal with this girl who just met you. How are you going to arrange for your dinner now" She replied to me " Don't worry son, God will arrange my dinner like how he did for my lunch" and I was really shaken by that statement of hers.
I was astonished at her generosity and could not utter a single word. It was a true lesson. The old woman who was not sure whether she would be able to arrange a rupee for her lunch did not hesitate to feed a hungry girl not worrying about her dinner. Her remarks which she made earlier were correct and it was true that two cigarettes could feed two hungry people was for me.
It was for the last time I had tossed that half-burned cigarette and crushed it under my shoes. I got the strength to quit the habit at that moment itself. No "statutory warning" on the cigarette packet or any health related articles could teach me the lesson that the beggar woman did that day"
I am not a saint to tell you about the ill effects of the smoking a cigarette but I am just your friend. The simple fact that a single cigarette can suffice a hungry human being has forced me to quit a habit which was pretty unnecessary in my life. I must tell you the feeling you get when you help a hungry or a needy person is all worth kicking the habit... Don't believe me...Try it!
[Courtesy: Sunday Times of India (24/08/2008)]