A recurring theme in my thought-blender this week, while churning through the canyon communities of Rainbow, Pala, Valley Center, and here in Fallbrook, was the notion of secondhand smoke.
Secondhand smoke, as we all know, does peripheral damage to people who never light up. The extent of that damage can be hard to trace, but we can say with certainty that secondhand smoke has caused illness, birth defects, and even death in people who’ve spent significant time near smokers or in places were smoke gathers in excess — casinos for example.
Somehow this week, pushing my way past roadside shrapnel, broken glass, and the uneven pavement of these rural San Diego roads, I connected the idea of secondhand smoke with other secondhand toxins.
These are everywhere these days, and we’re all breathing them in, whether we realize it or not.
In no particular order, they are…
They are grown in the darkest places of the human psyche — where bacteria best take hold, and exhaled, sometimes with malice, but often innocently.
In the same way that people have gotten sick, and even died due to secondhand smoke, I’m beginning to wonder if all this secondhand hate isn’t adversely affecting my health — not just my mental health, but my physical health. I’m not trying to be clever when I pose that idea either.
I ask myself regularly if, when I stand in proximity to others, as I interact with people on social media, and as I receive information via print and broadcast media, it isn’t similar to passing through casino, only to be quietly poisoned by all that secondhand smoke…?
Secondhand smoke is a legitimate public health concern — governments have regulated it, and those regulations have saved millions of lives. Secondhand hate though, and its lesser constituents can never be regulated because the implications in relation to our right to free speech are too significant. Still, as I ride my bike each day, often pedaling as fast as I can to outrun it all, I wonder if we can’t police this ourselves, just a little bit better.
This is what I think about when I ride… Jhciacb
This Week By The Numbers…
Bikes Ridden: 7
15.1 mph avg
13 hours 34 minutes seat time
Whether you ride a bike or not, thank you for taking the time to ride along with me today. If you haven’t already, please scroll up and subscribe. If you like what you read, give it a like and a share. If not, just keep scrollin’. Oh, and there’s this from Elbow. Enjoy…