Once in a while I get to see a black chicken running around with white ones. Rare as it may seem, it indeed happens, and it serves to denounce this popular saying -“birds of a feather flock together.”
When it comes to humans it is even more ridiculous to believe that politicians flock only with politicians, thieves with thieves, or drunkards with drunkards.
Then there is this other annoying proverb which goes, “show me who your friends are and I’ll tell you who you are.” This one insinuates, without embarrassment, that befriending bad mannered people (for lack of a better term), automatically makes an individual bad mannered.
Anyways, I will not dwell much on these. After all they are not originally African proverbs, thus their ambiguousness and lack of relevance in yesterday’s and today’s society.
On addiction to alcohol and drugs, I have heard lots of people claim that one learns the habit from their evil friends. They say that had the culprit been cautious enough not to join wrong cliques; he or she would never have been addicted to such stuff. Wrong!
Look at high schools for example. Some kids decide to do marijuana and others don’t, despite being friends. When it comes to universities where there is a different class of freedom, you find drunkard students enjoying a chat with sober ones. So how does the birds-of-a-feather or the show-me-your-friends goofs fit in?
As I speak, let’s all try to count how many friends we have. Numerous I suppose -but who can come out to blatantly claim that they share each of their friends’ addictions?
I know people who will go out with friends for a fun time but stick to soda while their friends booze themselves silly.
This means one thing. It’s not society or friends, but simply, people’s wrong decisions that get them hooked on drugs and alcohol.
If your friends influence you negatively, it’s not because you flock with them regularly, but because you have a weak character. It means that you are swayed by the wind in any direction without putting up much resistance.
Important as well, it means that you lack self control. Many people drink but not all of them are addicts. Therefore, if one doesn’t understand their limit, they are bound to find themselves inside that deep dungeon called addiction.
Drugs will always find their way on the market. It doesn’t mean that we should look for them and thereafter blame society for allowing their influx. Bars and night clubs will always be open; it doesn’t mean we should empty every bottle there and then blame our friends when we get drunk.
Addiction to drugs and alcohol is a personal choice. Period.
@RushAfrican on Twitter