Everyone is different. We all have different skin tones, come from different backgrounds, have different political views etc… Yes at times we tend to disagree, but disagreement does not equal hate. Sure there are people who are very extreme and might take it there, but I personally advocate for listening to differing opinions and letting them make their case. Even if I don’t agree, in my eyes you are not demonized and we can still break bread.
This is why I am proud to be apart of the cigar community across the world. You see it has been my experience that cigars unite people across the board. We can sit down and discuss our differences without taking offense. Most importantly, bonding with someone over a cigar makes us realize how alike we are. We forget social labels when we smoke with our friends who come from all walks of life.
In the cigar world you are not conservative or liberal, straight or gay, male or female, black or white. You are brothers and sisters of the leaf. We all differ on how we view the world due to our own personal experiences, that is all OK. In today’s “PC” world It is refreshing to see people united and not divided over trivial issues.
If you walk into a typical Cigar shop you will see construction workers and Police officers, Nurses and CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, Lawyers, Doctors, and pretty much any profession you can imagine all smoking cigars together. Each of them might have different budgets but that doesn’t matter. The cigar community transcends all social norms and breaks every barrier that has been put in place. Few communities in the world are as accepting as the cigar community. There are no limits to the conversations that can be had over cigars, which is why I think the cigar culture has united more people than any other sub- culture.
These days the cigar industry has come under attack from the federal government in the form of intense regulations such as raising the smoking age to 21 in certain states, mandating large warning labels on boxes, and countless public smoking bans in parks.
Through all of the challenges the cigar industry is facing, it is apparent that even while under attack, the industry is still standing. The industry is still in grave danger, it might have to adapt to the times but with all challenges we aren’t giving up without a fight. The days we are living in are challenging to navigate but I believe that it is the people that make this great sub-culture what it is.
I am a conservative but the phrase “Make America Great Again” has never resonated with me. I believe that America has always been great. Although our country has some dark pieces of history, we can look back and see that as a people we have gotten through those terrible times and have learned from the dark times. Things will never be perfect but I believe that unity is possible and it is alive and well in the cigar community. All walks of life come together daily over rolled up tobacco leaves in celebration of life and living it to the fullest.
Do you want to see America being great?
Walk into your local cigar shop and strike up a conversation with someone who doesn’t look like you, act like you, or talk like you. Just converse with them and see how much you actually have in common. You will be surprised. I am under the opinion that there is more unity in the cigar community than there is in day to day relationships of non-cigar smokers. Daily we are face to face with diversity and instead of running from those who differ, we decide to take the risk of doing the messy work of seeing where we relate to one another. It is harder to find common ground than to avoid conflict. Please keep in mind that when I say cigar enthusiasts have a high rate of unity, I am not saying that things are always peachy keen, but I am saying that the cigar community is at least trying to do the impossible task of finding common ground and attempting to love one another.
If you weren’t aware by now, I really truly love the cigar culture and community as a whole. Sure there are politics involved but they aren’t any of the reasons why I fell in love with this lifestyle. To quote Matt Booth about why he loves me “I remind him of a different time in the industry.”
Please my friends no matter how many industry politics enter our realm, never forget the WHY and WHAT made you fall in love with the cigar lifestyle – community, diversity, and family of the leaf.
Until next time,