I was writing a comment on someone's blog today and the concept of hindsight came to mind.
The definition of hindsight is "recognition of the realities, possibilities, or requirements of a situation, event, decision etc., after its occurrence". The key word here is "AFTER". We only TRULY understood what we were doing to ourselves AFTER we had done it.
It's pretty ironic to realize that every single person here on EX who has a successful Quit also has 20/20 hindsight.
Why didn't we accept the knowledge of what we were doing to ourselves when we picked up our first cigarette?
Where was all that realization of the damage we were causing to our brains and our bodies when we started to smoke years ago?
Why didn't we see that strangling cough as we inhaled for the first time as a harbinger of the health problems to come?
So the best thing that we EXers can do now, since we have only hindsight for ourselves, is to try to help other smokers develop some foresight.
The definition of "foresight" is "1) care or provision for the future; provident care; prudence. 2) knowledge or insight gained by or as by looking forward; a view of the future".
If we can help just one person stop smoking before they cause irreversible damage to themselves, then we are doing good work here on EX. (And THAT, my friends, was the theme of EX5: "The Starfish Story". Thank you, @Strudel!)
In closing, here is some Food for Thought: Here's an excerpt from the famous book "The Remains of the Day" by Kazuo Ishiguro:
"Rather, it was as though one had available a never-ending number of days, months, years in which to sort out the vagaries of one's relationship with Miss Kenton; an infinite number of further opportunities in which to remedy the effect of this or that misunderstanding. There was surely nothing to indicate at the time that such evidently small incidents would render whole dreams forever irredeemable."
Did you read it? Now read it again, but replace the words "Miss Kenton" and "misunderstanding" with these words: "cigarettes" and "illness".
Makes you think, doesn't it? Let's continue to use our hindsight to help smokers develop foresight and save themselves.