Column: Shooing personal parasites

By Gus Bode

‘ After much thought and consideration, and a re-read or two, it came to my attention that in my last column, ‘Getting to the Next Level,’ I touched upon a topic that may be of much more significance than I initially spoke.

Personal parasites are more of a problem for people than many know or acknowledge. Given this Lenten season, you can’t help but come across those occasional Christians who ask you that famous question, ‘What are you giving up for Lent?’ Well, to them I ask, ‘What are you giving up after Lent?’

Acknowledging certain aspects of your life you could do without is the hardest part for some people, but I suggest this as a starting point. If you are having trouble identifying the issues you are having in your life, ask a few trusted friends or mentors. In asking others, it is important to note you are asking them for their opinions but they may be projecting their personal parasites onto you, so be cautious.


For those who have problems acknowledging the parasites in their lives, here’s a short list to start: ignorance, prejudice, procrastination, lateness, jealousy, arrogance, timidity, pornography, smoking, drinking, loose legs, racism, apathy, laziness, overeating, talking about others behind their backs, false beliefs (those just handed to you without any question) and the list goes on.

Once you acknowledge the parts of your life in need of the most work, then the hard part begins. You must now write out your life as if you were living without this issue.

Write about how good you feel now that you have given up alcoholism and are able to get a good night’s sleep. Write about how energetic you feel now that you have decided to abstain from partying on nights you know you have things to do, especially when they need to be done early the next morning. Write about how much more clear your breathing is and how easy it is to walk longer distances, now that you’ve quit the pack-a-day habit. Pick a parasite and begin to attack it.

After acknowledgement through writing, the next task may be the hardest part of all. Making the daily decision to live your life stress free, without your newly departed parasite, will be one of the most daunting deeds you’d ever dare. It’s easy to make the choice to fall back into old habits. It’s easy to allow those people back into your life that constantly bring you down. It’s easy to let those vices come back into your life. All of these things are easy to do.

What most people fail to realize is it’s also just as easy to stand firm on your decision to remain that changed person; that committed person who wants to grow and not remain stagnant. To be the person you want to become, you must do those things you’ve never done. Believe in yourself, believe in your purpose, see yourself as you want to be, and that is who you will become.

Need some help? Give me a call. 618-536-0326.

Think about it.


Paul Flowers is a senior studying biological science.