I just want to clear something up:
Fat is not a disability. And alcoholism is not a disease. These two things fall under the category of choice. You can choose to eat carrot sticks for a snack or you can choose to eat a box of donuts for a snack. You can choose to drink orange juice or you can choose to pour a bottle of gin into your orange juice. That is your choice. Your choice may lead to a disease like a failing liver or diabetes, or it may lead to a disability like jacked-up knees from carrying too much weight or a dislocated hip from stumbling down some stairs while drunk.
Cancer is a disease. Cancer is not a choice. If you smoke for 35 years and get lung cancer then I would venture to say you should not be surprised and that in a way your choice led to your disease and therefore you are just a moron. If you are fat you chose to eat too much. If you are an alcoholic you chose to drink too much. If you get lung cancer and you never smoked= not because of a poor choice. If you get skin cancer and you spent 40 years laying on beaches with no sun protection on= bad choice. If you get breast cancer at 33 and you were relatively healthy and active= not your fault, it’s a disease it strikes at random.
Obviously there are ways in which to avoid getting cancer. Some cancers are easier to avoid than others. Lung cancer can be avoided by not smoking and not being stuck in crowded bars with smokers. Skin cancer can be avoided by wearing sun screen and hats and not baking yourself under the sun or in tanning beds for superficial reasons. There are theories on how to avoid this or that form of cancer but in all honesty heredity and environment and personal outlook can be huge factors that you may or may not be able to control or even be aware of.
My point? Personal responsibility. As I embark on my journey of directing an existential play written by the beloved fellow existentialist and atheist, Jean-Paul Sartre, I am considering more and more how being aware that we possess free will and the ability to be whomever we choose, ultimately life comes down to personal responsibility. Religious people may not have explored this idea nearly as in depth as me or perhaps most atheistic types so I will offer examples of my point. During the award shows on TV I always wonder why it is that so many of the award recipients thank their god but never thank themselves. Is it not they who won the award? It has their name on it not gods’. If I ever win an award it’s safe to say I’ll be thanking myself for doing such a fantastic job. If you work hard at something you deserve the praise and awards and should thank you for your hard work. You can thank your deity of choice as well if you wish; for that is where so many people claim to find strength, but you did the work so thank yourself. I’ve also noticed that the same people, when times are tough, don’t often hold their middle finger to the sky and tell god to suck it. I think in times of trouble they tend to ask god for help. I see that as a form of talking to yourself. If you really need help wouldn’t it make more sense to go to a person who can really help? I mean someone it is proven exists and can truly assist you. For example, if you are in a car accident and get injured would a doctor or a lawyer be a better option than simply lying on the ground bleeding and asking god to help you? Or, say you are being abused by a lover and you want out. Could it be a better option to, let’s say, leave that person, call the cops, get a therapist, talk to friends, rather than hoping that your god will soon whisper in the ear of your abusive lover that maybe he should stop beating the crap out of you and be nicer? I mean, which one will actually result in your being better off and which one will probably result in your being bludgeoned to death? This is, of course, why believing in any form of god makes no sense to me. I simply don’t understand handing the responsibility over to an imaginary friend in hopes that he might exist and magically do something to improve my life. It seems faster, easier, more logical and less crazy to take the responsibility and go fix my life myself.
How do you fix your life by yourself? Simple: by taking responsibility for your actions and your choices. If you are fat and you don’t want to be fat stop asking god to make you not eat another donut and instead join a gym, do some yoga, eat the carrot sticks and maybe your knees won’t hurt and you will live longer and feel better. If you drink too much liquor stop begging the sky to heal you, put the bottle down, drink the juice plain and maybe your liver will stand a chance. I envy those who have that choice. My cancer came with no choice; I had cancer and that was that. But, how I reacted to having cancer did come with a choice. I could have jumped off my roof or hid under my bed or gotten super depressed and gave up on life, or I could have said “fuck you cancer!” and made the choice to fight it, cut off my boob and do chemo no matter how much I want to quit because chemo sucks. If you have the choice to not beat your wife or to not drive drunk (and here’s a hint: you do), then I suggest taking the responsibility to make a good choice instead of a bad one. This works in every avenue of life. When someone pisses you off you can choose to yell at them or you can smile and walk away. When the guy at Starbucks gets your order wrong you can choose to punch him in the face or you can simply ask for it to be made again. It’s shocking how kindness is often more contagious than a cold.
So, to clarify again:
Fat is not a disability. That means get the hell out of my disabled seating, put down the greasy bucket of friend chicken and stand your fat ass up on the train so you can burn few fucking calories.
Alcoholism is not a disease. If you are an alcoholic try not drinking alcohol, dry yourself out, get a job, take a bath and stop begging for quarters in the subway station. At least the sober homeless people perform shows on the trains to entertain people; they are earning that quarter.
Beating your lover is a choice. Stop doing it you stupid fucking dick! You are an adult and can control your shit so grow the hell up and use your words.
Cancer is not a choice, although bad choices can lead to cancer.
How you react to cancer (and anything else) is a choice. Choose wisely.
Believing in god is like having an imaginary friend that sort of hates you. Get real friends- Ones that like you and want to help you when you’re down. You can thank them when you win an award.
If you are in a car accident, stop praying and get yourself to a doctor. Your imaginary friend is not a real doctor (even if he keeps telling you he is).
Take responsibility for your actions. If you did something well then pat yourself on the back because you deserve it (wait, did god do it for you? Then maybe you don’t deserve it.). If you yelled at your kids because you were mad at yourself go apologize to your kids. If you smoke don’t act surprised when you end up with lung cancer. And (just to add a little politics at the last minute) if you think you deserve the rights you have under the government then stop trying to take rights away from others because one day you might be on the other side and I bet you’ll be pissed off that someone’s trying to rob you of your rights.
Life is filled with choices. This is why I am both pro-life and pro-choice. Choose well, my friends.