Encouraging a Different Perception of Alcohol

Today the BBC reported a move in the United Kingdom to ‘encourage a different perception of alcohol’ because of the great social problems it causes in our country. For example the number of people in the UK dying from alcohol-related problems is continuing to rise at a worrying rate. I strongly agree with the need to change our culture, because the consumption of alcohol for many British people has become synonymous with having a good time. Indeed as a number of anthropologists have commented, it has taken on a pseudo-religious, cult-like aspect. Take for example the repetitive, ritualistic quality of Friday night drinking. Is this any surprise when, amongst other things, drinking is so heavily promoted by advertising and popular television programmes? This particularly true of soaps, where the first thing a character is depicted as doing when they have problems is reaching for a bottle. How does one change a culture? Well one can begin with the right message. In the words of Bahá’u’lláh

‘It is inadmissible that man, who hath been endowed with reason, should consume that which stealeth it away…’

The Kitáb-i-Aqdas, Bahá’í World Centre, 1992 edition


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