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Monday, January 27, 2014

Freedom of Choice

Freedom of Choice
When it comes to Freedom, the majority of us understand that it isn’t “free.”  With regards to the freedoms we enjoy in this great United States of America, many of our men and women in uniform have paid dearly with the ultimate sacrifice.  The gift of freedom is not something that we can place a monetary price on.  Not everyone sacrificing went along willingly or had a choice, and by that I am making reference to the parents that lost a son or daughter, or the sons and daughters, brothers and sisters who lost a loved one in the pursuit of defending freedom.
There are other freedoms that we enjoy, which we may not take the time to analyze but which always come with consequences.  Some of this freedom of choice decisions are made every day with grave and immediate consequences.  A bad example is the choice a drunk person makes to get behind the wheel of their car to drive home. The spectrum of consequences in this instance goes from bad decision to the extreme of being responsible for the taking of someone’s life.
I am writing this post triggered by an article I saw online.  When I was young and in high school probably 20% of the student body smoked cigarettes most of them were smoking for the sake of being cool in their peer’s eyes.  A handful of the students that smoked, looked more stupid than cool, because until they became used to the cigarette smoke they coughed and choked on the smoke every time they inhaled.  Some of the people that hung around me smoked and had the habit (although good manners) of offering everyone in the group a cigarette every time they pulled one out for themselves.
Eventually my gym teacher talked me into signing up for the school track and field team. Lettering in that sport led to being recruited for the football team and lettering in that sport led to being recruited for the wrestling team.  At that point in my life and getting all the attention I needed from sports, my future was sealed with regard to, ever smoking a cigarette.  Eventually I got some of my friends to quit smoking around me, and I dropped the friends that would not honor my request.  The sports minded students that I hung out with and other friends that didn’t smoke started hanging out together.
The most unfortunate side of cigarette smoking is that the price you sometimes pay isn’t always immediate.  Growing up there were plenty of cool marketing reminders of why smoking was cool.  Some examples were our more popular television and movie actors in their movie roles.  From the Camel cigarette, the Camel character Joe Cool.  The Marlboro Man.  Not to mention the added bonus of Green Stamps, plus coupons that were included in some cigarette packs, and cartons.
  • The Marlboro Man is a figure used in tobacco advertising campaign for Marlboro cigarettes. In the United States, where the campaign originated, it was used from 1954 to 1999. The Marlboro Man was first conceived by Leo Burnett in 1954. The image involves a rugged cowboy or cowboys, in nature with only a cigarette. The advertisements were originally conceived as a way to popularize filtered cigarettes, which at the time were considered feminine.
Well, the demise of the Marlboro Man came January 10, 2014 at the age of 72, from Lung Disease.  That is the case of a delayed consequence of the decision to smoke in this instance.  Some might think that he had a nice long life (72), but in fact his life wasn’t a quality life for many years.  Lawson was also survived by six children, 18 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.  May Eric “Marlboro Man” Lawson Rest in Peace.  The best is yet to come….

1 comment:

  1. R.I.P. Eric "Marlboro Man "Lawson, Moving On!