The year of the Earth Dog has come to an end and the Year of the Earth Pig has just begun. There are five types of pigs in the Chinese zodiac, and each one represents a Chinese element: metal, water, wood, fire or earth. This is the Year of the Earth Pig, and we haven’t had an Earth Pig year since 1959/1960. Pigs are a symbol of wealth and good fortune in the Chinese zodiac, but these qualities do not come easily to all people born in a Pig year. Most people born in Pig years just have average luck when they are young, and begin to have good luck while in middle age, and then they become very successful. Earth pigs are different; they usually enjoy both luck and wealth from a very early age. However, they usually make their money from hard work.
Hard work that turns into some kind of wealth brings to mind three interesting words: foresight, hindsight and insight. These words are important in relation to how we conducted our lives last year and how we hope to conduce them in the new year, no matter what your Chinese zodiac sign is.
A lot of us know what foresight is: having a view of the future, maybe a prediction, and being able to care for it. It is a class-A characteristic in human beings. This year certainly seems unpredictable. We will need to develop our foresight and use it carefully in regard to behavior, opinions, investments, job changes, relationships and possible opportunities.
Hindsight, on the other hand, is the knowledge, perception and understanding a person has about an event after it has happened. It is about the past, and what we could have done or should have done. Unless you are in prison, it is probably not worth your time spending a lot of thought on hindsight and you would do better trying to prevent events and decisions in the new year that might provoke hindsight lamentations. However, the perception that hindsight gives you can prevent future mistakes.
There is second kind of hindsight, called bias hindsight. This kind of hindsight describes a tendency to overestimate one’s own ability to have predicted or foreseen an event after learning about what happened. I’ll try to explain it better in the next paragraph.
People who speak frequently in hindsight are a bit annoying. They tell you what you could have done better, or they are dwelling on their past mistakes. People who speak in bias hindsight are totally annoying. They are know-it-alls. But we all do this occasionally. What parent hasn’t at one time said to a kid who just broke something, “I knew you were going to break that!” That’s bias hindsight, and we didn’t really know the kid was going to break whatever he broke.
Insight is perhaps the best of the three human sights, but not everyone develops it. Insight is nothing more than “inner sight”; in other words, instinctive understanding. It is seeing beyond or behind what our eyes can see or what our ears hear. It is about the unstated or underlying truths. Insight helps people understand motivations and behavior. It has a lot to do with self-knowledge, and our species usually needs some quiet time in order to develop insight. People who are multi-tasking with a telephone in one hand and computer tasks in front of them simply don’t develop their insightfulness. In order to have a successful Year of the Earth Pig, we will need to innovate, and insight is a crucial part of innovation.
I recently read that the state of Hawaii has the to be considering a bill in its Legislature that will ban the purchase or smoking of cigarettes for anyone under the age of 100. Right now, the legal age for smoking in Hawaii is 21. No, I didn’t make a mistake with the zeros. The age is one hundred.
As CDC statistics say that cigarette smoking is responsible for more than 480,000 deaths per year in the United States, you could say that the Hawaiian bill is showing astute into the dangers of tobacco.
Tobacco is an enormous industry. As far back as WWI, tobacco companies had the to distribute cigarettes to servicemen together with their rations. The soldiers were addicted to nicotine and loyal cigarette customers when they returned home.
By the time WWII came along, lung cancer was already on the rise in the USA, but even so, tobacco companies not only supplied cigarettes to servicemen, they were also permitted to advertise by encouraging citizens to support their troops by sending them more cigarettes. The country as a whole had little regarding the tobacco epidemic, which was already taking root.
During that war, the New York Times wrote that cigarettes “lightened the inevitable hardships of war,” a publication that in , they must have regretted.
The United States included cigarettes in military rations until 1975, after the Viet Nam war, which, in was way too long to sponsor nicotine addiction. Nowadays, military personnel are not allowed to smoke during basic training.
Cigarettes and smokeless tobacco companies still spend an average of $26 million per day on advertising in the U.S.A., and certainly they have the to spend that much money in ways that it will pay off.
Unlike the U.S.A., tobacco advertising in Brazil is only permitted for the display of a product, and legislatures had the to pass laws banning it from TV, radio, printed press and the Internet. Kids are not flooded with visual advertising that send messages that cigarette smoking is glamorous.
In the United States, advertising is banned only on radio and TV. Advertisers possess the to target teenagers in developmental stages that are going through changes and forming their own identities.
Part of a young person forming an identity is to begin to take risks, and the tobacco industry has always had the to advertise to whatever a current generation desires to be seen as; tough, daring, or sophisticated.
In general, advertisements that target adults are structured to appeal to a man’s masculinity, and a woman’s sense of empowerment and independence. Nowadays, tobacco industries have the to satisfy anyone’s psychosocial needs even without direct references to cigarettes.
Just to wrap up this report of lack of , , and , know that the tobacco epidemic is one of the biggest public health threats the world has ever faced, killing more than 7 million people a year. Over 6 million of those deaths are the result of direct tobacco use while around 890,000 are the result of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke.