Is alcohol any good?

It is only human nature to expect straight, yes or a no answer to most questions in life.

It is only human nature to expect straight, yes or a no answer to most questions in life.

That is why, every so often, we have to come up with answers to difficult questions that come our way; questions like: Do long distance relationships work? Can I marry a woman who is older/wealthier than me? Or will I be happy in that marriage?


There are also questions like: At what age should one build their first house/move out of their parent’s home? As you can see, those are all tough questions that can hardly be answered satisfactorily in one word. 


So it was recently that a friend, who has for some time been contemplating quitting alcohol, or in her own words “kicking the bottle,” asked me a question I thought she should have asked herself before she even started the habit. She wanted to know if there is any good in alcohol in the first place, having evaluated her own experience with the bitter stuff. 


Well, the explanation I gave her was not any different from that I give to those people who assume that I’m a love doctor and go on to bother me with their love questions. In fact, my friends have learnt never to ask me anything to do with relationships and marriage, and this is for two reasons; the first is that I’m not in a relationship, and therefore can’t be expected to know what transpires inside it. The second is a quote: “marriage is like a cage, with those outside desperate to go in, and those inside desperate to get out.” 

It is the same quote I drew to my friend with a drinking habit. Giving her a yes/no answer would have been taken to mean that I shudder in the face of controversy, but on the contrary, I like to take a stand on any issue, regardless of how fraught with controversy it might be.

If when we say alcohol we mean the devil’s brew, the poison scourge, that bloody monster that defiles innocence, dethrones reason and destroys the home, if we mean that which creates misery and poverty, that literally takes the bread away from the mouths of little children, if we mean the evil drink that bulldozes the Christian man and woman from the pinnacle of righteous, gracious living, down into the bottomless pit of shame and helplessness, then I’m totally against it! 


If, when we say alcohol we mean the catalyst of conversation, that which is consumed when good pals get together; that brings laughter on their lips and puts a groovy melody in their hearts, and the warm glow of contentment in their eyes, if you mean that stimulating drink that enables a man to magnify his joy and happiness, and to forget, although for a short while, life’s great tragedies, contradictions and sorrows; if you mean that drink, the sale of which pours into the Rwanda Revenue Authority untold billions, some of which billions are used to build roads and hospitals and schools, then, certainly, I’m all for alcohol.

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