Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Demon Rum

What follows is my personal opinion. YMMV, and you need not even read it.

Getting drunk, and stupid, seems to be taken as a birthright by some people. They expect forgiveness, and tolerance, from those in their lives. They are resentful when they don’t receive it. They are the most selfish of all people. They suck all the joy of living out of the homes they inhabit.

I’ve no problem with the responsible consumption of alcohol. I drink alcohol nearly every day, a glass of wine at bedtime, which helps me fall asleep. On occasions, I will have a few drinks in a social setting. We are all free agents, and I don’t judge anyone who handles their consumption in a responsible manner.

Have I done stupid things under the influence that has negatively affected my life? Yes, and more times than I care to remember. Within my family, I’ve dealt with more problems than anyone should be forced to deal with. I’ve watched the helpless victims, children, suffer.

Some people get it. A young friend watched his father destroy his family life and business. He watched a brother go to prison. He saw himself going down the same path, and his young bride walking out. Deeply religious, he has used the AA program, and is well into his third year of sobriety. He has my total respect.

I spent thirty years in, or around, the retail automotive business. Excluding LEOs, I’ve dealt with more alcohol and drug abusers that most people. I learned to never, ever, completely trust a drunk. The question isn’t if, the question is when.

Coming back to the “birthright” theme, I remember a long conversation with a veteran Corrections Officer. He had worked in several of the prisons in the Colorado system. At the time, the prison near Trinidad, CO,  housed most of the inmates doing time for alcohol related offenses (multiple DUI, vehicular homicide, etc.). He said they were the worst class of prisoners to deal with. As I recalled, he said,

   “A thief or a murderer knows he belongs in prison. A damned drunk thinks he is being treated unfairly”.

He went on to compare them to sexual predators, that they don’t change, and won’t be “cured”. I think he may be exactly right.

I will continue to, “Hate the sin, love the sinner”, but I will never, ever, accept the behavior.
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