Well if responses were what I wanted, then I definitely got what I was asking for. Most of the comments surprisingly (at least to me) expressed opinions opposing mine. I don't mind people saying they don't agree with something I post. I, in fact enjoy the response of people who see things differently. If I needed to think everyone agreed with everything I said I'd close my comments so I could just pretend that we were all on the same wave length.
But I like to be challenged, I like to be presented with ideas and views that are not only the same as mine but polor opposite. I like to expand my horizons so to speak and what better way to do that than to be open to suggestion and when appropriate, change?
I like to think that I'm an open minded person. Granted there are some subjects that I have extremely strong opinions on, and those will most likely never change. But for the most part I like to think that I am a well rounded enough individual to be able to accept that we are all different, have different views, different values, different beliefs, and am caring and confident enough to not be threatened or angered by those differences.
Some of the responses I got to the Legal Schmegal post have shown me that as much as I'd like to think I'm someone who "thinks outside the box", that my views are in fact still very restricted by the culture and community I've been brought up in.
A friend of mine (real, not myspace) commented on my MySpace blog and I'm going to share her response here.
I have to disagree with you on this one. It's a cultural thing. In the US there are restrictions with respect to alcohol due primarily to society, puritanical values brought down by the pilgrims, founding fathers, etc. Society had made alcohol a taboo so it becomes something that kids look to do as a forbidden activity, like drugs, having a gun, etc.
In other cultures, such as the French and in my country of origin, meals are accompanied by wine or ale, not milk or soda or water but some alcoholic beverage and everyone in the family drinks it. I don't remember ever not drinking wine during meals. When my younger sister was born, she was sitting at her kiddie chair and in her glass with meals was....wine.
None of us suffered any kind of developmental problems. On the contrary, all my siblings and I score above 130 in IQ tests. None of us ever developed any alcoholic tendencies, nor do we smoke or do drugs. I agree that there should have been a choice in that question to allow you to answer "never", but there is nothing wrong with asking the question. You have a choice in raising your children to do what you wish but so does everyone else.
Granted hard liquor was never one of the choices but in my country there is no "drinking age", there is no fascination with getting wrecked as a teenager as there is here. And there are not more alcoholics than in other countries. So I do think it is the society in which we live that drives some of the problems that exist in this country with drinking. Just my opinion based on my experience
There were other responses with views similar to hers, but I feel that the personal detail she included to help paint a picture of why she felt the say she did was part of what brought me to the relevation that I am still much more sheltered than I would like to believe.
So with that being said I'd like to expand a bit on my previous post and share a little more about why I had such a strong reaction to that particular question.
I agree (begrudgingly) that having grown up in the US has had a very strong influence on quite a few of the opinions and views I have on certain issues. Alcohol is apparently one of them. But having said that, I think that more than the culture I've grown up in, is a personal issue I have with control that influence my feelings on this particular subject.
I don't drink alcohol. I can count on both hands the number of times I've even tasted alcohol in all of my 32 years. I don't like it, I don't see the point in it.
Hello, My name is Mollie and I am a control freak.
I have a problem with any thing that has any type of altering effect on my self control or mental status, be it alcohol, prescription medication or the like. I don't like anything that might even possibly remove some of the control I have over my thoughts and actions.
I pinched a major nerve in my back several years ago and it was only when the pain became so bad it physically effected my ability to breath that I finally gave in and took the medication that the doctor had prescribed. I like being in control. Period. I have a problem with emotions for that very same reason.
Alcohol has an effect on the control you have over your mind and body. This has been proven and there is research to back up that statement.
So with that in mind it's not only (but especially) children that I don't think should consume alcohol. I don't agree with adults drinking either. I actually don't see any valid or positive point in alcohol even existing. That is my personal opinion based strictly on me being me. I'm fairly certain this particular view would be the same regardless of what country or culture I'd been brought up in. I think it's more of a view I've come to based on an internal process rather than one influence by external factors.
I know studies have been shown that a glass of wine a day may have health benefits ranging anywhere from delaying or prevening heart disease to combatting tooth decay. *source Sciencedaily.com I also know that those very same benefits can be obtained without ever consuming a single drop of alcohol.
So even though I have to admit that a large portion of my views are based on the culture and community in which I've been brought up, and even though other countries and cultures wean their children on wine or some other sort of alcohol with little or no negative effects I still over all disagree with the question in general. And I still most definitely disagree with children ever, even and especially in the presence of a parent, being allowed to consume alcohol.
As far as the whole "it's the law" issue, well that's a whole different ball of wax best left for another day.