2013 HOF Speeches

The Tough Guy Lie – The Capacity To Choose

KTC CalculatorI first tried tobacco in our backyard as a 8 year old.  My father had a “It’s a girl” cigar that had been rolling around in the truck.  I peeled it and placed the cigar in my lip.  Terrible, spit it out.  A couple friends of my father dipped, and I always held those guys in high regard, not because of the chewing but the toughness and independent spirit they had.  I just thought chewing was what tough independent men did.  It was cool. When I was 13 my dad had my drive our tractor home from the shop.  It was about a 35 trip and at the breakneck speed of 12 miles per hour this was an entire afternoon.  I enjoyed the solitude of driving tractor.  Independent and responsible.  I was trusted it was a badge of honor for me to be trusted with the tractor and such a long trip.  I had no more jumped into the cab than I discovered a tin of skoal wintergreen bandits.  I’m sure the mechanic had left them.  I tried one.  Much different than the unrolled cigar, this tasted good, and made me feel even more independent.

In the small rural town I grew up in, tapping into the elicit smokeless tobacco cartel was not difficult.  I began dipping snuff at the age of 13.  I was a born ninja dipper.  I always hid it.

Copenhagen become my chew of choice as it was considered he ultimate tough guy chew in our community.

Almost as soon as I started, I wanted to quit.  I struggled with the idea of bein addicted, and it violated my conscious.

I jumped in and out of bed with the nic mistress for the next 22 years.  A miserable affair.  As I reflect, I can honestly say, I gave more time, attention, and intimacy to nicotine than any human relationship.

Shame on me.

I resolve from this day forward to give myself recklessly to loving GOD, my wife, children, friends, and people I encounter with the same commitment and faithfulness I gave to nicotine.  My addiction is actually an inspiration to me.  If I could give all that time and tenderness to a processed plant, i believe I truly have the capacity to love the real GOD, and real people.

Today as I quit for the 101 consecutive day, I am reminded that I have the capacity to choose love, rather than greed and selfishness.

Thank you nicotine for teaching me how to love.  Thank you KTC for teaching me how to hate evil.

NOTE: This piece written by KillTheCan.org forum member Phil16

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