Monday, April 27, 2009

Abstinence only alcohol policy

I've been trying, lately, to not consume any alcohol for at least two days a week. It's easier than you might think. The experience leads me to wonder whether it might be time to consider the role alcohol plays in our lives.

I can't, for the life of me, figure out exactly why I drink. It used to be as a sort of rebellion. When I was younger, drinking was fun because it was illicit, secret, something I wasn't supposed to be doing. It's not like that anymore, but I still drink. I tell myself it's because I like the taste of a particular beer, wine, or liquor. More than anything, it's probably the force of habit. You start drinking because you like it, but you keep drinking because you were already drinking.

Furthermore, you drink because everyone else drinks! There are few other bad habits so common in our society, and so widely reinforced. Have a drink, everyone else is doing it. Of course, we all have free will, but the power of alcohol is immense. Don't underestimate how persuasive thousands upon thousands of movie images of good-looking people drinking alcohol can be.

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