Passing through the gates in the parkinglot near the theater was like entering another world. Chaos reigned andeveryone embraced the theory “anything goes.” Music blaredfrom open cars as teenagers sang along and drank. As soon as a beerbottle was finished it was smashed on the ground. People in lawn chairsand cars were smoking in all forms. Law enforcement officers stoodoutside the gate “keeping the peace,” but never entering thisworld. All around, people were celebrating, laughing and partying.Susan, Beth and Rachel were enjoying themselves and I was, too, untileverything around me stopped with a stranger’s question, “Hey, youwant a beer?”
I knew I should answer with a stern”No,” but I hesitated. A few of my friends had accepted theoffer, so why shouldn’t I? I knew drinking was against the law and myown morals, but I also knew the law would not take the time to stopme.
I finally answered, “No,” but my response was weakand a little prodding might have changed my mind.
We encountereda party of our school friends. Beer cans in hand, they, too were havinga wonderful time. Beth and I were again offered a beer. Beth politelydeclined, but I had conflicting thoughts. One can’t be that bad. I’veheard if you just sip over a long period of time it won’t even affectyou. Everyone else around me is drinking and having fun. They’re myfriends and responsible people, they wouldn’t do anything harmful. Myparents won’t know; it is hours before I need to be home. By then theywon’t even smell it. But I knew what I had to do. “No,thanks,” I said.
I couldn’t betray my morals or my parents’trust in me. Even if every other person was drinking, I couldn’t give into temptation.
I had many drink offers that night. An-otherfriend even managed to secure a bracelet allowing her to buy beer andsupply other friends with alcohol. Many chose to drink, some even to thepoint of drunkenness, but my resolve not to grew even stronger whenpeople around me became very ill. Some passed out on the grass andmissed an incredible concert.
I have always stuck to my morals.That night I needed to reinforce my parents’ faith that I would do whatwas right. Even more, I needed to show myself that I was strong enoughto resist the crowd. The wrong choice would have been easy to make,especially since we were in a seemingly separate world with no lawsrestricting us. My resolve was strong enough to do what was right, and Iwill continue to show the same resolve when faced with an ethicaldilemma.
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