Predictably, most people walk straight past, although many look shocked or concerned. A few stop to check if he is okay.
Then, a middle aged man comes up. He looks genuinely worried and sincere. He takes the boy by the arm and says this:
What are you doing, man? You can't be drinking. You're too young to be drinking.
When I was young like you, I was drinking. I lost everything. I lost my home, lost my children, lost my car, lost my job. It's a no-win situation. I ended up being homeless. For a year. Just because of this bottle.
Don't drink, man. Don't drink. You're too young. You've got youth on your side. You don't want to be homeless and losing your family and everything, do you? Because this is the worst. It's a no-win situation...
And you know what I learned?
I learned, yet again, that ex-drinkers are the bravest, wisest and most compassionate people out there, and that sharing your story is the most powerful thing you can do to help others following behind you.
It also made me think: why is it that we see the sight of a sixteen year-old drinking so shocking, and yet we expect it of eighteen year olds? And few people bat an eyelid at a forty year old drinking to excess every night of the week.
Surely anything that we instinctively know is wrong for children is also not good for adults?
Anyhow, here's a link to the video: click here. Let me know what you think.
Huge congrats to Philippa, my e-mail buddy, on TWO YEARS sober!
Love to you all,