Drunkards and social drinking..!
We think that anybody who touches alcohol is a drunkard. I have friends who drink and others who don’t and both groups defend their right to drink or not to drink as much as they would defend their respective religions! “See how good drinking is for the heart!” say the group who drink and bring out articles and press cuttings and the non drinker not to be overcome also quotes famous saints and swami’s and tells you tales of what happened to his favorite uncle who drank himself to death and if you are sitting between these two warring groups I can bet my last rupee you will come out unconvinced that drinking is either good or bad.
But let’s go a little farther than the amateur arguments offered by these two groups and find out why people drink? They drink for a variety of social and cultural reasons. For some the use of alcohol is a prerequisite for activities like family get-togethers, gala dinners, or an evening with friends. Some drink to forget themselves, and share their worries. While others drink to display their status and develop social relationships, or some do just to get drunk. I remember while I was traveling a few years back in Austria, I came across a monastery and found to my amazement a distillery inside, making beer commercially. “How can you do that?” I asked and was told how monks in days of old had to fast for long periods of time and to enable them to do so, they drank a weak beer which allowed them not to get too hungry, “Then slowly it became a commercial activity!” I was told, till most monasteries had breweries.
But again, is it good or bad for the system? The chronic abuse of alcohol has far reaching ramifications. It produces a progressive deterioration of his physical and mental health and the individual slips into alcoholism, which becomes the cause for crimes, road accidents, and other socio-economic problems. Alcoholism leads to financial disasters, destroys the family unit resulting in a broken home.
“So,” says the non-drinker, “Why drink?” Though I would say that like in all the good things in life, don’t do anything in excess, don’t allow it to become a habit and if you don’t become a chronic drinker and are able to discipline yourself then there shouldn’t be a problem, but if you are the kind who can’t do that, then why drink?