Rich nations, poor nations,
the former perceived as the seat of cancers,
the latter considered as less cancer-ridden.
Rich nations employ science – of good governance, research and alliances,
poor nations battle with malaria, TB, AIDS plus corrupt government.
The former advance significantly in their vision,
the latter now triple burdened by tropical diseases, cancer, plus corrupt government.
Rich nations now bidding goodbye to unhealthy lifestyle,
poor nations now hugging Western-owned tobacco industries and diets.
Whatever happened to poor nations’ religions?
To jampacked churches and coliseums?
If by choice, more human bodies are assaulted by smoking?
Have smoking Buddhists and Hindus, Taoists and African indigenous religionists, Christians and Muslims,
taken to heart the sacredness of the body-as-gift?
What’s the point of worship when religionists,
stick by stick wage war against their bodies?
Isn’t religion also about choice for the sacred, for life?
Rich nations are making intelligent choices,
poor nations still starry-eyed over puffed heart-shaped smokes.
Is it time to revise the creeds?
Or simply the time to be true to what one confesses?
Inspired by a Medline report that cancer death will hit 17 million in 2030, notably in poor countries with tobacco smoking as a key determinant in cancer risk.
Photo credit: David in Birmingham