I would like to take this opportunity to say a few things that are on my mind about alcohol. Before I begin, however, I would like it to be known that I have tasted alcohol before; however, unlike some others, I drink responsibly. Please keep this in mind as you consider that I am writing in support of the non – drinker.

Believe it or not, I used to run scared at the sight, or even smell, of alcohol. I had absolutely no interest in drinking. I mean, why should I? I always enjoyed myself without drinking alcohol, and I just never really saw a point in doing it. However, there was one other reason that I avoided those alcoholic drinks, and that reason was my father. For twelve long years of my life, my entire childhood to be exact, my father drank alcohol and then took his anger out on my family and me. I saw his distorted face, heard his drunken voice, and felt the hurt as he verbally abused us all. As a child, I knew what was behind my beloved father’s anger: alcohol.

Why didn’t I drink in high school? I’ll tell you why. It was because I was afraid of turning into my father. My mother was scared, too, and she constantly reminded my three older brothers and me that alcoholism is a disease, and if I were to begin drinking, I would get it, too. To tell you the truth, I didn’t believe her at first, but I did listen. I avoided alcohol at all costs, but to think it was a disease and hereditary? Well, that was asking too much at the time. However, I believe her now. And even though I do drink on occasion every now and then, please do not think I have forgotten what my mother told me year after year. I have not forgotten and probably never will. You should not forget either.

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The next time someone rejects your offer of alcohol at a party, maybe you should think about their reason behind it. Yes, maybe the taste of beer disgusts them, or maybe they have a lot to do the next day and do not want to chance a painful hangover. However, maybe the real reason is that the sight of beer reminds them of their alcoholic friend or family member. Maybe they choose to not drink because they, too, are scared of turning into someone who, in the past, they have always shrunk from in fear. Maybe the peer pressure is really too much for them to handle, yet how could you know? You rarely ask, let alone even think about how and why they could pass up something as good as a drink.

So, my point here today is just this: keep this idea in mind the next time you offer someone a drink. If they say no, accept that answer the first time and move on. There should be no need to explain the reason behind their choice because it is just that: their choice. Just please remember the memories of the past or present that alcohol might bring to the surface, remember the anguish they could have or still be experiencing, and remember that they are, in fact, a non-drinker – but also a human being like anyone else.


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