Article Overview:    Want to watch someone fight the Beast of Terror?   You can tune in to, or, just look in the mirror.    How do we battle bad habits?   How do we overcome them?    What effort does it take on our part to commit to eliminating things that destroy or weaken our being?  Find out how Vigilance is aimed at the heart of Terrorism's bad habits.


Sunday, February 22, 2004—Ground Zero Plus 893
Bob's Battle With The Beast Of Lung Terror

Cliff McKenzie

         GROUND ZER0, New York, N.Y.--Feb 22, 2004 -- The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene lets anyone interested watch "Bob" battle the Beast of Lung Terror.

My wife and grandkids were continually begging me to quit smoking

   It's not quite like watching the Osborne's on reality MTV, but it's close in ways.   You get to see the struggle of man and his family trying to fight off the Beast of Addiction. chronicles the daily diaries of family and friends as the main actor, Bob, tries to throw off the shackles of his smoking.   Today, he's got 21 days racked up.   Anyone visiting the site can follow Bob's journey through the trials and tribulations of quitting smoking on a minute-by-minute basis.
              I was drawn to the site because my wife and grandchildren shoved it in my face.    A "hard core" smoker for far too many years, I finally quit (again, hopefully for the last time), on Valentine's Day.  
               I took that egotistical attitude:  "Well, if Bob can do it, so can I!

Read about Queen's "BoB" quitting smoking at :

             I didn't even know Bob.    I hadn't looked at the website when I quit.  But, I did see the ads plastered all over New York City, and, I was under constant attack from my grandchildren and wife who urged me to "do what Bob had done."
               There comes a time in everyone's life when a bad habit becomes unbearable, no matter how much you like it, or think you do.


Smoking has become unbearable

          Smoking is one of those terrible bad habits.   Smokers, like myself who ignore health and safety facts, create this filial bond with cigarettes that is akin to a "bad relationship:" you know it's painful but you continue hacking, wheezing, coughing your way through it, conscious that it will never get any better.
              It's like feeding an alligator in hopes it will eat you last.
              About 75 million Americans have this problem, representing a quarter of the adult population. (
smoking charts )
              In China, 320 million smokers suck in the pollution from tobacco.   Their smoker's population exceeds the entire population of the United States.   China's percent of smokers is 37.6 percent of their population, the highest in the world.
                Worldwide, there are more than a billion smokers, close to 25% of the global population (which is now at 6 billion).
                But the point of quitting anything that is "bad" for you isn't just about the act of "stopping," but about the commitment to "stay stopped."
               Take a child abuser, for example.   Someone who has abused children is, in some way, addicted to it.   The abuser who decides to stop abusing, like the smoker who wants to quit, may be successful for a short time and then something triggers old behavior.    Like the smoker who picks up and lights up, the abuser may just as easily snap back into old routines and, despite all vows, become the Beast of Terror he or she was trying to flee.

The smoker becomes the Beast of Terror he or she is trying to flee

               In a simple format, our New Year's Resolutions are fine examples of far smaller degrees of the same problem.   We vow to remove some habit or pleasure from our lives that we feel is damaging to our well being.   We go along for some distance until some bump in the road jostles us, and we reach out and grab at the bad habit or addiction or harmful behavior like the child snatching his or her favorite blanket from the garbage can after being told "it's time to grow up."
               It's hard to give up bad things.
               Dieting is another small example.   One might find it a stretch to equate a few inches around the waist to a child abuser, but when you think it through, being overweight is a form of self-abuse, especially if you "hate yourself" for what you look like and "envy" others who are slimmer, shapelier.    You whip and beat yourself when you fail, and your mirror is your constant tormentor.
                I'd like to see a website called    It would be about how we fight the Beast of Terror each day, and, would extol the victories when we did.
                 Bob's children, for example, would not leave notes about how "Daddy didn't smell like an ashtray," but instead, "We are happy Daddy didn't yell at us to Shut Up, or tell us he was Too Busy to play with us.   We are happy Daddy took time to read us a story and laugh with us...and tell us about when he was a little boy he was so afraid...and how it took all his courage to jump into that swimming pool for the first time....   And, Daddy even Hugged us!"
                  If we were to follow Bob's life of trying to remove Terrorism and replace it with Vigilance, we would see Bob's really bad habits.  We would see him yelling at other drivers and calling them names.  We would see him cowering inside himself when the "boss" spoke harshly at him.   We would see him thinking badly of an fellow employee who was a competitor.   We would see him ducking and weaving important issues about life because he didn't want to get involved.    We'd see all Bob's Fear, Intimidation and Complacency until we felt like puking.
                With that base, we'd now see his epiphany.   We'd see some "trigger" come into his life, as it does when one quits a bad habit.    It could be someone yelling at him, or the threat of a divorce, or his children cowering in his presence because they feared his wrath.   

Seeing a picture of his or her own lung cancer might shock the smoker into seeing the Beast close up

              Like a doctor telling a patient, "You've got lung cancer," something would happen to Bob that would shock him into seeing his own Beast close up.   The disguise of the Beast would shed.   He would be exposed with all his warts and scales, with his fangs and drool dripping from his reptilian lips, and his beady red eyes would glow dully.
               Transforming from harboring the Beast of Terror into becoming a Sentinel of Vigilance is not a snap-of-the-fingers transition.    When you become sick and tired of being sick and tired, you then act.   It's like being hit over the head with a baseball bat a thousand times, and finally, the thousand and one time, you have such a headache you want to yank your head off your shoulders.
               We end up changing because we know our life is at stake, or the lives of others we love and care about.    Some people change because they see the fear for the first time in the faces of their children.  Others, because one day they see themselves as nothing but Fear.
                This is the time when we truly become Sentinels of Vigilance.   For any of us to simply sign a piece of paper and vow to the Principles of Vigilance and expect to follow those guidelines religiously is nothing but folly.   
             It's like someone saying, "Oh, I think I'll quit smoking today because the sun rose up and the birds chirped."   Naw.   No way.
             There always needs to be an intersection, a crossroads of choices, created by some loss or threat of loss that forces us to totally change our lives from one destructive standard to a constructive one.

Bad habits are destructive in nature

           Bad habits, which include how we think and act, are destructive in nature.  They rob us of something valuable.  They steal from us the essence of life.  They keep our cups half empty.
             Smoking is just one of them.   Any of us can easily make a list of "bad habits" we are aware of, and, if we are truly brave, we can ask others who work or live around us, to list down what they perceive are our bad habits.    The list will amaze us all, for many of those we end up viewing we will deny.  They are our "blind bad habits," the ones we shove to others but sidestep accepting.
               Now, the Vow of Vigilance, the Pledge of Vigilance, is all about battling the Beast of Terror.   It helps us recognize that we lose to the Beast when we are Complacent, when we do nothing to change.
              It also doesn't demand we are a hundred percent successful in the elimination of the bad behavior.   To be victorious, we need only achieve a growth of at least Plus One Percent at a time.  Eventually, at some point, we will, if we remain Vigilant, achieve conquest over the entire being of the bad habit or behavior.     

I have quite smoking countless times

                   I have quit smoking countless times.  Perhaps all those attempts have conspired finally to make this one my conquest.   I do not know, for time has yet to unfold that answer.   But, I cannot fail by trying.   Even one week of not smoking is better than to have continued during that time.
                 One less bitter word or snapping comment to a child or loved one is far better than unleashed anger.    Stopping what you are doing and sitting on the floor with your children and looking deeply in their eyes and asking them to share a secret with you and you'll share one with them, is an act of fearlessness and trust-building on your part with a child who may wonder why you are suddenly showing "interest" in ways you haven't before.
                 If we realize that Terrorism is the sum of our degrees of Fear, Intimidation and Complacency, and that however small these might be initially, that they can, like cancer, grow rabidly and consume us, we might be more equipped to see the urgency of Vigilance.    If we are not concerned about the presence of the Beast of Terror in ourselves, or its ability to grow in our children, we might not be shocked or scared or jolted into Vigilant action.
               The attack on the World Trade Center scared America into action.   While we might mourn the death of 3,000, our current states of Vigilance may have saved hundreds of thousands of lives from a dirty bomb, or some virulent germ attack that our defenses have blocked.

Let Vigilance commence

                We must all be "shocked" into action.   If one looks only at "bad habits" and adds them up, they can Terrorize us, especially if they come from others around us.    When ten people tell you you have a bad habit of X, it's hard to deny.   We all wear our warts, even if we don't see them.
              And, they all can be removed.
              Bad habits are nothing more than expressions of our Fear, Intimidation and Complacency.    They can be neutralized with Courage, Conviction and Right Actions for the Children's Children's Children.
              But, the only way they will be subject to change is when their deadly nature is exposed.  When one sees the Beast of Terror behind the habit, glaring through the mirror, hissing, drooling, then Vigilance will start.  
               Look at yourself.  Invite others to look at you.
               See how many Beasts of Terror reside within you, masking who you really are.    Then, take the Pledge of Vigilance.    Let the Warts of Terror fall to the wayside.
               And, stop in and see Bob at   

Feb 21--Are Terrorists Eating Their Own Young?

Some Highlighted Stories From Last Year

Dec 31 Bush's New Year's Message:  Era Of Vigilance
Dec. 30
Walking The Path Of Terror: The 839th Day

Dec 29 Terrorism's New Year's Ball
Dec 27-28
Indiscriminate Terrorism:  Mother Nature's WMD
Dec. 26
The Beast Attacks Like The Mad Cow Disease
Dec 25
Learn The Secrets Of Vigilance On Christmas Day
Dec 24
Eve Of The Youngest Sentinels Of Vigilance Part V of V
Dec 23
Parable Of The Ant & The Leaf: The Third Secret Of Vigilance
Part IV of V from the Legends Of Christmas Vigilance
Dec 22
 Part III of V:  How Rock Candy Banished Darkness From The Land Of Vigilance
Dec 21
Part II of V:  The First Secret Of Vigilance
Dec. 20
Part I of V--The Legend Of Christmas Vigilance.
Dec. 19
What Do Michael Jackson & Saddam Hussein Have In Common?
Dec. 18
Torturing Saddam In The Zoo Of Vigilance
Dec 17
Interview With Saddam In His Iraqi Rat Hole
Dec 16
New Drug Fights Teenage Beast Of Terror
Dec 15 Capturing Weapons Of Mass Destruction:  Saddam Hussein

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