Just the right amount
Ever since our ancestors started drinking the local brew, muratina, through long straws, to our current trend of sipping cocktails at brunch, drinking has always been regarded as a social activity. It not only brings people together but it’s also used to celebrate anything between huge milestones and just getting through a tough week, to loosen up, and have some fun, but also to escape problems. When used in moderation, it can elevate an experience.
Alcohol is a silent therapist who has no office hours, no restrictions and offers no judgement. It listens and does not talk, and is only gatekept by the opening hours of the various wines and spirits vendors. It takes effect in our bodies just as swiftly and stealthily as it came in. A few headaches, hangovers and blackouts later, the brain realizes that there is a problem and the liver starts to cry out for help but the hands and feet are led to get more of this golden liquid that casts a rose-colored tinge over the world.
The problem is not drinking in itself, the problem is in drinking to momentarily forget that disastrous relationship, that bad grade or that impending deadline. It drowns your sorrows while simultaneously throwing you in a deep abyss where you can only come out through great effort. Repeatedly trying to lift your spirits using spirits can take you to a point where only the Holy Spirit can intercede.
Our school’s founder, St. Josemaría Escriva has a book of teachings containing his most famous writings. The 53rd of these writings in his book, the Forge states that “You should show the moderation, fortitude and sense of responsibility that many people acquire after many long years, in their old age”. In this, he encourages young people to possess the responsibility shown by people in their old age. We were born during the Information Age where information access is much easier and faster than ever before. We can use this to our advantage by finding out what works for us, knowing how much is too much, and basic information that can make the next drinking experience better. There are various drinking tips available on the internet and on social that can easily be referred to help us drink responsibly.
Drinking responsibly to me means accountability. Eating a good meal to soak up the alcohol. Taking just enough to enjoy a night out but still being able to get home without any (hic)cups. Having a designated driver or taking a cab back home to make sure that nobody gets hurt because I enjoyed myself. Dealing with my problems in a healthy way first rather than consulting this golden friend who will love me at first and keep calling for me but eventually kill me from the inside out.
The freedom and ability to drink is like a horse with the ability to roam any and everywhere, but responsibility holds the reins and gives the horse direction. Drinking patterns have not changed much since 1960 and 2022. The togetherness brought by the sharing of a drink is still the same. In the present day though, souls are connected, and not straws.
This article was written by Elsie Mungai.
This blog post was placed third in the 2022 Founder’s Week blog competition.
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