Five Life Lessons Learned from Beer
There simply aren’t too many things that a good beer can’t do. It is a given that it can expertly quench your thirst on a hot day, or slow your mind down after a tough week at the office. However, did you know that a good beer also can provide life lessons?
Here are five life lessons learned from beer.
- You don’t have to go at it on your own.
For whatever reason, society-at-large seems to frown at the idea of drinking alone. The fact of the matter is that there is nothing inherently wrong with cracking a beer open when no one is around. Sometimes you just want to be alone with your thoughts. This is entirely okay, but the truth is that you can only get so much positive value out of these experiences.
Having a beer among the company of friends is infinitely more fulfilling. Just about without fail, everybody is having a good time — talking among yourselves and laughing at each other’s jokes — even if they aren’t really that funny. The shared experience is infinitely more memorable (in a positive way).
Life operates under the same rule. It is perfectly acceptable to take you day-to-day experiences on your own, but you are only going to get so far. Without a hand to help you up when you fall, or the subtle nudge of someone that cares to move you in the right direction, you will only get so far.
Basking in your successes by yourself comes nowhere close to celebrating in the company of your contemporaries, friends, family, and others that care about you.
2. Trying something new might not be awful — it could be great.
The recent era of craft beer has taught each of us this valuable lesson. With the proliferation of microbreweries, brewpubs, and craft-beer-focused liquor stores, opportunities abound to try something we’ve never tried before. Gone are the days of a simple lager after a long day. This new world has brought us Pink Lemonade Cream Ale, Peanut Butter Porter, Dill Pickle Gose, among a litany of unique (if not crazy) concoctions. You’d try them out, but they sound terrible — not really your cup of tea. However, by not giving them a shot, you’ll never really know. Don’t drink with your eyes. That experimental IPA could be the one you have been searching for.
Limiting our life experiences based on our current impressions of good or bad may keep us from trying things that could change our lives for the better.
3. Confidence and knowledge are not the same thing.
We’ve all been there, the group gets a couple of rounds in and soon finds itself surrounding one person espousing everything that is both right and wrong in the world. You look on in amazement, wondering how one person can know so much about so many different topics. As you listen intently, they keep talking and eventually convince you that they are the smartest person you know.
Here’s the rub; you and your comrade-in-arms are drunk people in a group surrounded by other drunk people. If you had the faculties to record the conversation you are so enthralled with and played it back the following morning, you would probably wonder what was going on. Beer doesn’t make us smarter, just more confident and infinitely louder.
Life is very much the same way. The most confident person in the room isn’t always the most knowledgeable. Consider the opinions of everyone while understanding that no single person has all of the answers. More often than not, blindly following people due to their confidence will eventually lead to wondering what they are talking about.
4. Do what makes you happy.
In my younger, more formidable years, every Monday night was “Mystery Beer Night” at the watering hole near my work. After a long shift, I would meet up with my co-workers to have a beer or two and wind down. On these special nights, bartenders would blindly reach into a sink of ice and grab you a cold, reduced-price beer. The “mystery” was solved once you saw the label. Sometimes you were pleasantly surprised; however, more often than not, you were officially the owner of a cheap bottle of beer.
If you didn’t like the “pull,” you’d try to exchange it with another member of your group. We called the brave soul that would drink just about anything the “Garbage Collector.” Here’s the deal, despite the good-natured ribbing by the rest of the group, they never seemed to mind. They enjoyed their beer just like the rest of us.
It is your life to live, so go ahead and do it in a way that makes you happy. There are exceptions, but we all answer to no one but ourselves at the end of the day. We can’t live our life augmenting our behaviors based on what others may think of our choices.
5. Too much can leave you with a hangover.
Moderation is a crucial component when it comes to drinking. There is nothing wrong with having a beer or two every now and then. Still, way more often than not, a night of heavy drinking will lead to waking up the next morning with cottonmouth, a splitting headache, and prolonged attempts to piece together the previous night’s escapades.
Drinking too much, or too often, will put you on a short path to making yourself sick.
Life requires moderation, as well. Going full-speed into experience after experience, one-hundred percent of the time will have negative repercussions. It’s okay to slow down a bit and take as you take in the sights and sounds around you. At the very least, doing so will keep you from getting the inevitable hangover.