In two days I begin my fifth year not flying. I estimate talking to about 1,000 people about not flying and that about 998 of them said that not flying would be impossible for them—not difficult or unwanted but impossible.
Suddenly they’re able not to fly. Their claims of being unable to avoid flying were never a matter of reality, as they described, but a lack of motivation and imagination.
To my ears, they sound like addicts who can see the withdrawal they’d experience trying to kick their habit but not the life improvement beyond. If you tell a heroin addict that they will prefer exercise and working for a living to shooting up, I suspect they won’t believe you. They’ll probably consider you not credible, thinking of how much better heroin makes them feel than anything else, and discount most of what you say.
People try to convince me how critical flying is. Well, they did. Now they don’t. They probably still feel like they’re being tortured, like the baby-on-the-ceiling scene in Trainspotting.
I understand that people who kick their habits of sugar, alcohol, heroin, or whatever prefer not to relapse. I believe that given the chance, even the most addicted heroin user will come to prefer the rewards of exercise and working in service of others. I know I’ve come to find refined sugar disgusting, which I never would have expected before discovering how delicious fruits and vegetables taste.
I hope people avoid flying and other polluting habits long enough to discover the joy, community, and connection they deprive us of but are just on the other side of practicing
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