Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Courting danger and smoking

On some occasions, I have given into the urge of smoking. And every time I have smoked I have questioned why people who smoke do so so regularly or find it so difficult to quit.

So here's some theorizing.

For one, 'style' is a strong reason for people to smoke. The holding of a cigarette and smoke coming out of mouth is quite a leisurely style statement. Moving beyond style...

I am always in awe of someone pulling off a difficult motorcycle stunt. I respect the cyclists who can do cross-country riding. I admire the men who scale difficult mountain peaks. In each of these I suppose there is a danger of losing life or doing serious damage to oneself. There's something about courting danger. About taking arduous tasks. It's a signal of 'strength'.

After knowing that SMOKING KILLS, if a person continues to smoke as intensively and regularly as earlier, clearly he's given into a show of strength. That he can risk his life. That nothing can happen to him.

If I go by Rupert Shedrake's theory of morphic resonance, then there's a slight twist to this. Even if people no longer feel that smoking is stylish or manly or a show of strength and still continue smoking, why is it so?

Few decades back, smoking was definitely considered beneficial or manly. And loads of people accepted it as a worthy habit I guess. Going by my understanding of Morphic Resonance, once a good number of people start doing something, then others are likely to do the same (and more quickly) with or without much reason. Repetition of the act of smoking induces habit formation even among people unknown to each other, across distances. Once a novel act, smoking was reinforced by its acceptance by a huge number of people and that still resonates.

Of course, many more factors might be in play but I choose to smoke them out in this piece of writing :).