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This is an essay on how a personal act or decision affects the society at large. Alcoholism for example is a personal decision that affects the society, hence the topic: Personal to political. The thesis statement of this essay will be: A personal act will affect the society. The essay is supported by a personal experience filled with drama and emotions that will reveal to us the deeper meaning of our lives. It will also draw analyzed conclusions on the moral, social, political and humanitarian significance derived from the personal experience narrated herein. It will similarly justify the topic.
The Personal Experience
The words of Joan Baez: "You don't get to choose how you're going to die. Or when. You can only decide how you're going to live. Now." could not have been truer than they were during the burial of my dearest Uncle. This is the true story of my Uncle before his death and his emotional burial. I came to know him when he was already married to Aunt Mokena. At the time I was 6 years old and it was in a family get-together on Christmas. He was dressed casually and something was bulging from the pocket of his blue, jeans trouser. I came to know that it was a bottle of wine after he offered me a sip saying, "Drink this in remembrance that your Uncle loves you". He even continued to explain that wine was the first miracle that the Christ we were celebrating performed at Galilee. I later came to realize that my uncle loved drinking; he was always armed with a bottle of wine.
Though I have never been opposed to taking of wine nor do I believe it is such a bad as people depict it I have always thought it a wise thing for people to control their way of drinking. I believe life is not all about taking wine and especially when my uncle is brought in the context it becomes what I may refer to as a personal tragedy. There is need for people to control the way they drink and the consequence that this drinking has on their social and family lives. From the very times that I was young I always felt that uncle was overindulging in alcohol issues. I always had felt an urge to ask him why he drank himself so much but in all the cases was overcome by fear knowing that he was an adult.
Now that I have grown up I am able to view the problem of alcoholism more comprehensively. Quick calculations show that my uncle was in his late twenties. Most youths at this age engage themselves in alcohol. Alcoholism will affect somebody's reasoning. This I learnt when he offered me a drink while I was still a minor. The violence that emanates from drunkards is unreasonable and uncontrollable as they are not in their right senses. This leaves the concerned parties physically and emotionally disturbed.
The parental love that is essentially required by the children is not accordingly provided by addicts:-My Uncle could not provide fatherly love to Peter. Financial, moral and even physical support cannot be extended to the family by addicts of alcohol. All that my Uncle earned from his business was drained in the pub as he tried to outdo the others. Putting up with an alcohol addict is not enticing. When families decide to enroll a drunkard in a rehabilitation program, it is a liability accrued to them as it is very expensive. Equally if a drunkard goes to the rehab, it is a shame to them and the family. Again, age catches up with somebody faster than it should as the time spent for eating is usually limited. Though we don't have any control of when or how to die, a times we catalyze our death. I believe if my Uncle was not drunk on that fateful night, he would have evaded the crash that necessitated his death.
Alcoholism as defined by Buddy (2007) is a disease known as alcohol dependence syndrome. It has been shown that when a person becomes addicted to taking alcohol, the following symptoms are usually manifested bin the person: there is a strong craving for a drink. The person develops a very strong urge to take alcohol whenever he has sobered up. This I believe is a bad trait especially if it is to develop in youths. Youths who are addicted to taking alcohol will obviously spend a lot of time on alcohol at the expense of the other significant issues including studies. This in the long run is likely affect the whole nation as the number of drop outs increases. The decision to start drinking is personally instigated but the effects of alcoholism are far reaching affecting not only the addict but the society at large. Hence the title, "personal to political" Political in this case means national influence or concern.
According to statistics, 6.6 million American children under the age of 18 live in homes with at least one alcoholic parent. More than one-half of American adults have a close family member who has or has had alcohol addiction (Alcoholism information, 2005). Number of alcohol-induced deaths, excluding accidents and homicides are 23,199 yearl (CDC, 2009). Hence it is a fact that alcoholism is not just a personal problem but one which affects masses of people. It can be concluded from the above alcoholism statistics that alcoholism is truly a silent killer. It adversely affects people from every occupation, nationality, political party, income group, religious affiliation, race, and gender.
However alcoholism is not curable but treatable through counseling and medications to help a person stop drinking and rebuild their lives. This being the case, many humanitarian organizations have taken the initiative to curb it through creating awareness of its effects and treatment through counseling and medication. Alcohol dependence and alcohol abuse cost the United States an estimated $220 billion in 2005. This dollar amount was more than the cost associated with cancer ($196 billion) and obesity ($133 billion). The WHO has been mandated by the UN to prevent and reduce the negative health and social consequences of drug abuse including alcoholism. It has also been supporting countries financially to fight drug abuse under The Management of Substance Abuse Team (MSB). WHO has additionally formed the WHO Expert Committee on Problems Related to Alcohol Consumption which provides WHO with the latest information relating to alcoholism and accordingly advice it on how to tackle alcoholism (World Health Oorganisation, 2010).
Morally, alcoholism defies commonsense in talking, acting and reasoning. An alcoholic will talk carelessly while drunk without observing the principles of respect and honor. Inconsiderate of whom they are talking to, they will tend to just throwing words and most of the times insults. They will tend to respect their craving and loss of control to the expense of other relevant responsibilities like supporting their families. This will drive their families to lack, hunger, low education and a times begging. Unreasonably, they will do awkward things by the fact that they are not in their right senses but under the influence of a substance.
Socially, alcoholism has no space for sober, peaceful or secure relations. The many deaths that alcoholism has caused either through accidents, violence or diseases are supportive evidence of the dire effects of alcoholism. Similarly, many families have been broken up through alcoholism due to addicts' failure to honor their obligations. Many children have dropped out of school due to lack of support or violence via alcoholism. It has also been proved that alcoholism significantly contributes to the spread of HIV and AIDS.
This has clearly shown that alcoholism has largely affected the society and hence national significance. The involvement of the UN, countries, humanitarian organizations and individuals to control alcoholism and its effects, confirms that this is more than personal. From this I can informatively state that a personal act or decision will affect the society either negatively or positively. In this context, a personal decision to indulge in alcoholism has affected the society negatively. The effects being of national concern, hereby referred to as political, qualifies the title and hence the thesis.
Alcohol abuse is a personal decision carried at a personal level. The effect of overindulging in alcohol use however has catastrophic effects on the society. It has been noted that overindulging in the alcohol affects both the adults and the youths. For the case of youths they are likely to register bad performance in academics and this will likely lead to drop out rates rising. Increasing rates of school drop outs is a national issue. On the other side if the adults overindulge in alcohol they might not be able to take care of their families. This will likely lead to family institution troubles which is equally a national issue. Equally a national issue is the number of weak babies born to parents who indulge themselves in too much alcohol. These are likely to put pressure on health facilities.