Friday, March 9, 2012

To sign or not to sign...that is the question

When we moved here I was surprised to find we were moving to a county that was dry.  At the time, I was a young mom and my life was totally wrapped up in being a Mom and Wife--I didn't really care about the alcohol situation one way or another.  During the time we've lived here there have been a few attempts to get the question to a vote; they've always failed.  This time however the supporters have the backing of the Walton brothers--I've noticed petition gatherers on lots of places:  the Walmart Home Office parking lot, First Friday, Pinnacle's White Oak Station and the list goes on and on.  When I refust to sign I hear a lot of snide remarks about how dare I not sign:  don't you drink, don't you know how much money our county is losing because of the taxes?  I can only imagine what they say after I'm gone.  However let me tell you another side...

When we joined Living Waters UMC, our family renewed a friendship with Tim Summers...he happens to be the Executive Director of Decision Point.  Our church began doing some volunteer jobs like planting flowers, painting, etc. at Decision Point.  We got to know some of the clients and have come to love some of them like family.  They have worked hard in their recovery to stay clean and sober.  I've seen families work to regain nursing licenses, buy houses and support their families by doing "grunt work" in order to improve their record to get better jobs!  Hard working incredible families.

These families live in Bentonville, Bella Vista, and Rogers which are all in Benton County.  Imagine them going to the grocery store on a bad day and passing the aisle with beer, wine or other difficult will it be to keep from falling back into the arms of their old demons?  You're crazy blessed if you're able to enjoy a glass of wine or a bottle of beer without it triggering the need, the desire to have another and another--I totally respect your right.  I'm crazy blessed on Sunday mornings when someone in our congregation says "today I celebrate 5 years sober..." or "today I celebrate 6 months sober..."

Now I understand you want the "convenience" of picking up your bottle of wine or spirits at your local store.  But think about it what is the price to others in our community?  How many alcoholics will struggle even more?  Are their those in our community who have intentionally chosen to live here because the alcohol is NOT on local shelves?  So when you sign that petition or eventually vote yes, take a moment to think about the life you may be destroying.

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