This is a story that I heard from an old family friend, who was also a fatherly figure to me. One evening, the whole family was having dinner around the table when he started to tell this story.
He was a college student in north England. As a young student, following the trend at the time, he acquired the habit of smoking cigarettes. He quickly became a heavy smoker consuming two boxes of cigarettes each day. But he didn’t think much about it. It was just a routine that he repeated every day.
One day, he was walking down the street by himself when suddenly he saw what he was doing. He stopped and took out his unopened cigarette box from his pocket. “What am I doing?” He said to himself. “I’m spending a lot of money on this, and I’m also spoiling my health!”
Right in front of him, there was a litter bin. Without hesitation, he threw his unopened cigarette box into the bin. Then he said to himself. “Smoking is a bad, filthy habit! I don’t need it!”
Since then, he never touched a cigarette even for once.
“For me, it was easy,” he told us proudly. “Whenever my body craved for a cigarette, I repeated to myself that smoking was a bad, filthy habit. I never went back.”
I heard this story many times from him, and each time, I would look forward to the scene when he stopped in front of a litter bin and told himself a lesson. I would always laugh upon him throwing away his unopened cigarette box. To me, this story said a lot about the person I saw in him – a man of strong will and a fantastic sense of humour.