Are you free or enslaved?
I’d like to start by stating that I’m a Muslim girl, who comes from a conservative household. I have never tasted a single drop of alcohol, and you might be wondering – why did she then participate in this blog if she can’t relate to it, or doesn’t know anything about St. Josemaria Escrivá and his teachings? Well, let me start off by saying that I believe I can provide another perspective and an out of the ordinary insight into this topic. From the little I’ve read about St. Josemaría, he seems like a person who advocates for love, peace and faith, and is an influential person in the Christian circle especially Catholics. From my research, his main teaching is duty to sanctity. This is something that quite relates to my religion.
People will tell you all about the negative effects of alcohol and this has been the lot of the Gen Zs, many of who turn deaf ears, leading their parents to either complain and say that their child is a drunkard and is disrespectful. But, I think, it’s the approach of this drinking that has not been tackled very well. Back to my point of duty to sanctity. I relate to it because in my faith, Islam, we condemn the sinner only if he doesn’t repent and turn back to God. All this is to give people hope and use a soft approach to things. Being dutiful stems from having discipline, and leads to the question of choice: in all your actions, are you really free? I ask this because people might see themselves free in the sense that they are not slaves but in the real sense are enslaved. Enslaved by their desires. Eliud Kipchoge, a world record breaker, says that only the disciplined ones are free. This is true because one of our biggest challenges is dealing with desires. You might feel like going to sleep before you finish your work, or sleep in till 11 am in the morning. If you follow the desire, you allow it to control you and what needs to be done suffers. Similarly, a person who drinks too much may just want to feel good. They are looking for something that makes them happy for a short time and makes them forget and turn to drinking. It might be a short term solution, but it’s the beginning of destruction of one’s youthful years.
I personally don’t believe in the term drink responsibly because it’s like saying to someone ‘take only a small portion of poison’. I believe that alcohol is poison but it’s a most subtle poison and the trickiest of all in the sense that it kills the body slowly and it will take it time, even if it’s 100 years. It tricks people by making them believe in emotions that are non-existent while in the long run throwing you into addiction. If this is not the subtlest poison you’ve seen, then what is?
This article was written by Hodan Yasin Jama, a first-year International Studies student.
This blog post was submitted in the 2022 Founder’s Week blog competition.
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