Thursday, October 4, 2007

17,000 deaths a year

a Jesus thought...
Truly this was the Son of God! (Matthew 27:54)

a Godly thought...
The quest for holiness is a life-long experience of God's forgiving grace. (p50 Webb)

a leading thought...
Leaders who think about others and their concerns before thinking of themselves exhibit charisma. (p12 Maxwell)

a Dave thought...
From today's Age newspaper...
WHAT is it about Australians and grog? Why is it that we seem incapable of doing anything much without it? And why is it that sportsmen, whose feats we laud more than Nobel prize winners, great artists and innovators, inevitably resort to it — and in vast quantities — when they reach the pinnacle of achievement?
At the risk of being labelled a wowser and condemned for raining on their parades, why is it that the footballers of Geelong and Melbourne Storm swamped their opponents with intoxicating weekend displays on the field and then proceeded to drench themselves in alcohol off it over the next several days?
Of course, grog permeates the modern game, just as it does society. Brownlow Medal night is marked not just by votes, highlights and a display of cleavage, but also by ubiquitous beer bottles that are being lifted to mouths, waved in the air and left to clutter tables.
It would be wrong to single out footballers. Soon, the cricket season will be under way, so get set for the post-victory locker room pictures of Test players dousing themselves and holding high the sponsors' green tinnies. And then will come the car racing champions spraying litres of champagne over themselves and spectators at the Grand Prix. Little wonder that when school exams are finally over, teenage graduates think the only way to celebrate is to drink to excess.
Of course, champion teams deserve accolades, deserve the adulation of supporters and deserve to celebrate their achievements.
Yet a fleeting search of the Internet reveals how destructive alcohol is in Australian society: it's linked to more than 17,000 deaths and 7.5 million lost work days annually, according to the National Drug Research Institute. It features heavily in family break-up and domestic violence, in hospital admissions and suicide, in the road toll. It torments indigenous communities. And binge drinking among children is rife.
Much of the talk in AFL season 2007 was about illicit drugs, and the league deserves commendation for its three-strikes policy: it's fair, it's voluntary and it puts player welfare ahead of naming and shaming.
Critics of that policy are forever ranting about footballers being role models. True enough, but why do we continue to turn a blind eye to one of the most conspicuous and most destructive drugs of all?

The Salvos stance on non drinking is such an important part of who we are. As we continue to debate whether this commitment is asking too much of our soldiers, I have no doubt that it is a part of the covenant worth uplifting. Our society here in Australia have lost the ability to have fun and celebrate without grog, and thousands of lives continue to get messed up because of it. Alcohol is something we need to be opposed to as it is the most destructive drug in our world today so I'm with the founder on this one - abstination is a stand worth making a fuss over.

Just a thought.

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