Is our Perception of the Effects of Alcohol in Society, well…Misconstrued?
Our beliefs and our actions are often led by our perceptions of everyday issues and what influences we grew up with, so to drill down to the truth or facts is often quite difficult, or is it? I live in the North of England (North Lincolnshire to be exact) and drinking culture is deep within us and our perception of how we use alcohol.
It’s Sunny (yes sometimes the sun does shine in the UK), let’s have a glass of wine in the garden. Before the show, after the show, bottle of wine or a few beers. It’s Bonnie Lad’s birthday so let’s get hammered and paint the town.
I got married, they got married, they got divorced, celebrate and commiserate with the stuff. Hard day? Sit down relax with a beer. It’s Friday, open the Prosecco!
Now I’m not preaching for normal folk to stop in search of sobriety, in fact, fair play if you don’t need to, I am just making a point, somewhat dramatically if you read on…. You see, it is ingrained in our everyday life that social activities include alcohol and the perception is, that it is normal.
The truth, however, isn’t normal because when it gets hold of you or you drink too much, you are poisoning yourself with chemicals, in the body and the brain and perhaps more importantly, emotionally, and if you were to analyse what is actually in it and the effects it may be having (or could have) on your relationships, perhaps you would have a different perception, but this will probably come from experience.
Now let’s consider perception in a different context:
You might like the occasional dip in the local swimming pool, sure there are many kids going in the pool along with adults but whilst you never witness anyone peeing in the pool it is at the back of your mind and you carry on into the refreshing water.
Say that throughout the day in a given public swimming pool, there are 100 kids in and out (all day). Do they get out to go to the toilet? Exactly, let’s also say that each one will average at least ½ a pint of urine in the pool.
Unless the kid is particularly nasty or young, they are not going to stand on the side and squirt it into the surface, they’ll do it submerged where no-one can see, so in your head, your perception is that the pool is clean, and even so, the chlorine will take care of it right?
But what would your perception be if the pool attendant or a gaggle of primary school kids stood at the side of the pool with a big drum full of child urine, pouring it in? Based on 100 (it could be more) that’s 50 pints of steaming human waste in a big drum splashing into the surface of the pool.
The question is: Has your perception of the cleanliness of the pool shifted and is it time we tried to change the perception of alcohol within our general society? I think so!
If you want to read more about my insights into social norms and society then click here!