Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

August 24, 2012

DAY: Habits make victims By Ray Day

By Ray Day
Tribune columnist

I get a lot of feedback from my readers, but one got me to thinking. It came from a youngster who read the one about footprints of life, so I wrote a column about it for others to read too.

He asked what my thoughts were about the habits of smoking, drinking and the worst of all, the use of street dope. First off, I want to make it clear that I do not judge anyone nor will I interfere into their lives.

Take a smoke, and it will make you cough. Take a drink, and it will make you dizzy. Take dope, and you are hooked enough that you will go out and rob people just so you can continue to get it on the streets.

Shoplifting is a terrible thing to do, because you think that if you get away with it, you can do it again. Cursing does not make what you say so important to others because, like me, people block out the cuss words and in doing so they lose out on the importance of the message that could have been given in a polite way.

Now we go to the thoughts about my childhood. I did, one day as a youngster, pick up a cigarette. I took some puffs, started coughing and got a little ill, so that told me that smoking was something I could do without.

I drank a beer once and, besides the terrible taste it left in my throat, I wondered what was so good about it.

I can’t say that I never used cuss words. I did, way up into my adult life, although not so much after getting out of school. Cussing just did not fit me, so I quit.

No, I wasn’t a perfect child or young adult, but I am proud to say that my life of not drinking, smoking, stealing or cursing made me a better man. I am not clean all the way through, but the path I walk is one that will please me and help me to please my Creator.

Now let me tell you a story about a friend of mind who also broke me in on a couple jobs at the mill. His name was Bob. He was a chain smoker, and it was nothing for him to go through two packs in a short time.

One day his wife went into the bathroom to find Bob choking on his own blood. The chain smoking took a victim, and we lost a great man that day.

I was in a store one day with a couple of friends. One of those friends and I saw the other picking up things and stuffing them in his coat. He said he did it all the time. Stealing got him a jail term, and his life from there went way down hill. Stealing took a victim.

Many of my friends were always using cuss words. After a while you get tired of trying to block them out and you stop being friends.

Now, as I said earlier, I am not a perfect man, but I am proud to say that there will be no victims in this old man’s body and mind. I will not judge you, because that is not what I am. I would try to help you if I could to get you off the habits mentioned, but really it is up to you to clean up your mind, body and life.

You can get help, but it takes your whole being to make it worthwhile. Make your choice and walk the path given.

• Ray “Uncle Ray” Day is a weekly contributor to the Kokomo Tribune. Contact him at uncleray@earthlink.net.