February 20, 2005


While at the BEFR, during one of the various and sundry conversations that were constantly going on, _Jon started bitching at me about how much I smoke. As he was extolling the virtues of not getting lung cancer he made a statement that really hit home for me. Incredibly, it was a thought that I'd had before but in a different context.

I'm sure that most everyone out there has gone through some bad times, times that try your very soul, and have contemplated ending it all. I have been there, and came to a realization. I'm just not that selfish. No matter how shitty things are, or how low you think you've sunk, there is still a couple of good reasons to keep on plugging away at life. One is, according to my theology (Athiest, if you're new here), that this is the only life you've got. Ending it prematurely is just wasting the most precious thing you've got. The other (and more important) is the impact on the people who care about you.

"But noone cares about me Johnny." I only have a one-word answer to that: BullShit. If you will quit wallowing in your self-pity long enough, you should be able to pick out at least five people that you interact with that mean something to you. Family, friends, coworkers, or even the girl who pours your coffee at the drive-thru every morning. You may not recognize it, but you have an effect on these people's lives. If these people mean something to you, the odds are pretty good that you actually mean something to them as well. Your absence will have a negative effect on their lives. Remember, that these are only the people that you know about right now. What about the "perfect match" who you haven't met yet? What about the best friend that you'll wind up meeting due to a conversation in a diner? What about when a family member gets in a car wreck, and they need you to help them out? All of these things (and a multitude more) are potentially just around the corner.

While I was contemplating suicide, I discovered that there is no way that I could ever be so selfish as to discount the impact that all of these people have had on my life, or to throw away any positive things I had added to theirs. I saw in my mind's eye the grief of my loved ones, and that was enough to stop my train of thought right there. Sure, it was bad. Sure, life sucked. But I could never intentially bring that much pain into the lives of the ones I cared about.

Back to _Jon's point: "You know that it's like ripples in a pond, the effect you have on other people." Yes Bro it is. Sage advice. I haven't quit smoking yet, but he sure gave me one hell of a good reason to. Self-destructive behaviour doesn't just impact you, but everyone you love, or ever will.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at February 20, 2005 10:34 AM


Posted by: That 1 Guy at February 20, 2005 10:47 AM

I wish more people were as wise as you. It would make this place much better.
And like you, it is my family that has kept me around.
Lots of peeps get caught up in the present and forget that they will have a future. And protecting your health is the key to a happy future.

Posted by: _Jon at February 20, 2005 10:55 AM

Jon used the word "peeps", christ Jon aren't you a little "old" to be using that word? ;)

Johnny - good for you! I am glad you realized your worth in this world, and I think many people have had the same thoughts and come to the same conclusion.

Cause you know everyone needs a hot, boot wearing, sexy southern accent guy to lust over!

Posted by: Machelle at February 20, 2005 11:03 AM

Great post Johnny! And it's true. We have no idea the impact we have on a daily basis. That smile you draw from the cleck at 7/11 may be the one good thing that happened for them that day. The kind word you offer that waitress may just be the one thing she NEEDED to hear.

The world is a pond, we all make ripples.....it's my favorite analogy.

Posted by: Tammi at February 20, 2005 11:08 AM

I'm just so lucky to be able to count all of you as members of that elite group of people that are a part of my life. If you judge a person by his friends, I am the wealthiest man alive.

Posted by: Johnny - Oh at February 20, 2005 11:13 AM

Besides you've got so much to look forward to that you've never experienced..."tits, clits, and bottles of beer"! :)

Love ya!

Posted by: Beloved Wife at February 20, 2005 01:16 PM



Posted by: That 1 Guy at February 20, 2005 02:23 PM

Heh. Beloved Wife made a funny :-)

Seriously, though, Johnny, good post.

Posted by: Harvey at February 20, 2005 03:54 PM

Very thought provoking post. Thanks!

Posted by: vw bug at February 21, 2005 02:38 PM
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