Want to watch someone fight the Beast of Terror? You can
tune in to Bobquits.com, or, just look in the mirror.
How do we battle bad habits? How do we overcome them?
What effort does it take on our part to commit to eliminating things
that destroy or weaken our being? Find out how Vigilance is
aimed at the heart of Terrorism's bad habits.
Sunday, February 22,
2004—Ground Zero Plus 893
Bob's Battle With The Beast Of Lung Terror
GROUND ZER0, New York, N.Y.--Feb 22, 2004 -- The New York City
Department of Health and Mental Hygiene lets anyone interested watch
"Bob" battle the Beast of Lung Terror.
My wife and
grandkids were continually begging me to quit smoking
It's not quite like watching the
Osborne's on reality MTV, but it's close in ways. You get
to see the struggle of man and his family trying to fight off the
Beast of Addiction.
Bobquits.com chronicles the daily
diaries of family and friends as the main actor, Bob, tries to throw
off the shackles of his smoking. Today, he's got 21 days
racked up. Anyone visiting the site can follow Bob's
journey through the trials and tribulations of quitting smoking on a
was drawn to the site because my wife and grandchildren shoved it in
my face. A "hard core" smoker for far too many
years, I finally quit (again, hopefully for the last time), on
I took that egotistical attitude: "Well, if Bob can do it, so
I didn't even know Bob.
I hadn't looked at the website when I quit. But, I did see the
ads plastered all over New York City, and, I was under constant attack
from my grandchildren and wife who urged me to "do what Bob had done."
There comes a time in everyone's life when a bad habit becomes
unbearable, no matter how much you like it, or think you do.
Smoking is one of those terrible bad habits. Smokers, like
myself who ignore health and safety facts, create this filial bond
with cigarettes that is akin to a "bad relationship:" you know it's
painful but you continue hacking, wheezing, coughing your way through
it, conscious that it will never get any better.
It's like feeding an alligator in hopes it will eat you last.
About 75 million Americans have this problem, representing a quarter
of the adult population. (smoking
In China, 320 million smokers suck in the pollution from tobacco.
Their smoker's population exceeds the entire population of the United
States. China's percent of smokers is 37.6 percent of
their population, the highest in the world.
Worldwide, there are more than a billion smokers, close to 25% of the
global population (which is now at 6 billion).
But the point of quitting anything that is "bad" for you isn't just
about the act of "stopping," but about the commitment to "stay
Take a child abuser, for example. Someone who has abused
children is, in some way, addicted to it. The abuser who
decides to stop abusing, like the smoker who wants to quit, may be
successful for a short time and then something triggers old behavior.
Like the smoker who picks up and lights up, the abuser may just as
easily snap back into old routines and, despite all vows, become the
Beast of Terror he or she was trying to flee.
becomes the Beast of Terror he or she is trying to flee
In a simple format, our New Year's Resolutions are fine examples of
far smaller degrees of the same problem. We vow to remove
some habit or pleasure from our lives that we feel is damaging to our
well being. We go along for some distance until some bump
in the road jostles us, and we reach out and grab at the bad habit or
addiction or harmful behavior like the child snatching his or her
favorite blanket from the garbage can after being told "it's time to
It's hard to give up bad things.
Dieting is another small example. One might find it a
stretch to equate a few inches around the waist to a child abuser, but
when you think it through, being overweight is a form of self-abuse,
especially if you "hate yourself" for what you look like and "envy"
others who are slimmer, shapelier. You whip and beat
yourself when you fail, and your mirror is your constant tormentor.
I'd like to see a website called TerrorismQuits.com.
It would be about how we fight the Beast of Terror each day, and,
would extol the victories when we did.
Bob's children, for example, would not leave notes about how "Daddy
didn't smell like an ashtray," but instead, "We are happy Daddy didn't
yell at us to Shut Up, or tell us he was Too Busy to play with us.
We are happy Daddy took time to read us a story and laugh with
us...and tell us about when he was a little boy he was so afraid...and
how it took all his courage to jump into that swimming pool for the
first time.... And, Daddy even Hugged us!"
If we were to follow Bob's life of trying to remove Terrorism and
replace it with Vigilance, we would see Bob's really bad habits.
We would see him yelling at other drivers and calling them names.
We would see him cowering inside himself when the "boss" spoke harshly
at him. We would see him thinking badly of an fellow
employee who was a competitor. We would see him ducking
and weaving important issues about life because he didn't want to get
involved. We'd see all Bob's Fear, Intimidation and
Complacency until we felt like puking.
With that base, we'd now see his epiphany. We'd see some
"trigger" come into his life, as it does when one quits a bad habit.
It could be someone yelling at him, or the threat of a divorce, or his
children cowering in his presence because they feared his wrath.
picture of his or her own lung cancer might shock the smoker into
seeing the Beast close up
Like a doctor telling a patient, "You've got lung cancer," something
would happen to Bob that would shock him into seeing his own Beast
close up. The disguise of the Beast would shed.
He would be exposed with all his warts and scales, with his fangs and
drool dripping from his reptilian lips, and his beady red eyes would
Transforming from harboring the Beast of Terror into becoming a
Sentinel of Vigilance is not a snap-of-the-fingers transition.
When you become sick and tired of being sick and tired, you then act.
It's like being hit over the head with a baseball bat a thousand
times, and finally, the thousand and one time, you have such a
headache you want to yank your head off your shoulders.
We end up changing because we know our life is at stake, or the lives
of others we love and care about. Some people change
because they see the fear for the first time in the faces of their
children. Others, because one day they see themselves as nothing
This is the time when we truly become Sentinels of Vigilance.
For any of us to simply sign a piece of paper and vow to the
Principles of Vigilance and expect to follow those guidelines
religiously is nothing but folly.
like someone saying, "Oh, I think I'll quit smoking today because the
sun rose up and the birds chirped." Naw. No
always needs to be an intersection, a crossroads of choices, created
by some loss or threat of loss that forces us to totally change our
lives from one destructive standard to a constructive one.
Bad habits are
destructive in nature
Bad habits, which include how we think and act, are destructive in
nature. They rob us of something valuable. They steal from
us the essence of life. They keep our cups half empty.
is just one of them. Any of us can easily make a list of
"bad habits" we are aware of, and, if we are truly brave, we can ask
others who work or live around us, to list down what they perceive are
our bad habits. The list will amaze us all, for many
of those we end up viewing we will deny. They are our "blind bad
habits," the ones we shove to others but sidestep accepting.
Now, the Vow of Vigilance, the Pledge of Vigilance, is all about
battling the Beast of Terror. It helps us recognize that
we lose to the Beast when we are Complacent, when we do nothing to
It also doesn't demand we are a hundred percent successful in the
elimination of the bad behavior. To be victorious, we need
only achieve a growth of at least Plus One Percent at a time.
Eventually, at some point, we will, if we remain Vigilant, achieve
conquest over the entire being of the bad habit or behavior.
I have quite
smoking countless times
I have quit smoking countless times. Perhaps all those attempts
have conspired finally to make this one my conquest. I do
not know, for time has yet to unfold that answer. But, I
cannot fail by trying. Even one week of not smoking is
better than to have continued during that time.
One less bitter word or snapping comment to a child or loved one is
far better than unleashed anger. Stopping what you
are doing and sitting on the floor with your children and looking
deeply in their eyes and asking them to share a secret with you and
you'll share one with them, is an act of fearlessness and
trust-building on your part with a child who may wonder why you are
suddenly showing "interest" in ways you haven't before.
If we realize that Terrorism is the sum of our degrees of Fear,
Intimidation and Complacency, and that however small these might be
initially, that they can, like cancer, grow rabidly and consume us, we
might be more equipped to see the urgency of Vigilance.
If we are not concerned about the presence of the Beast of Terror in
ourselves, or its ability to grow in our children, we might not be
shocked or scared or jolted into Vigilant action.
The attack on the World Trade Center scared America into action.
While we might mourn the death of 3,000, our current states of
Vigilance may have saved hundreds of thousands of lives from a dirty
bomb, or some virulent germ attack that our defenses have blocked.
We must all be "shocked" into action. If one looks only at
"bad habits" and adds them up, they can Terrorize us, especially if
they come from others around us. When ten people
tell you you have a bad habit of X, it's hard to deny. We
all wear our warts, even if we don't see them.
And, they all can be removed.
Bad habits are nothing more than expressions of our Fear, Intimidation
and Complacency. They can be neutralized with
Courage, Conviction and Right Actions for the Children's Children's
But, the only way they will be subject to change is when their deadly
nature is exposed. When one sees the Beast of Terror behind the
habit, glaring through the mirror, hissing, drooling, then Vigilance
Look at yourself. Invite others to look at you.
See how many Beasts of Terror reside within you, masking who you
really are. Then, take the Pledge of Vigilance.
Let the Warts of Terror fall to the wayside.
And, stop in and see Bob at BobQuits.com.
Feb 21--Are Terrorists Eating Their Own Young?