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How Can Latter-day Saint Professionals Make the Best of Social Activities that Conflict with the Word of Wisdom?

After living and working in London for the past three years and having recently moved to Dublin, where pub culture is the hub of social interaction, I have been extended many invitations to “grab a pint” after work.

On occasion I will go along for the good conversation and, more importantly, to interact on a less formal basis with my peers than I could ever do in the office.

I’ve come to learn that not attending happy hour will not necessarily earn someone the title of recluse; however, I think that someone’s presence at these informal social activities will most likely not be forgotten. Remember that most places, if not all, offer nonalcoholic drinks including soda, water, and juice.

David M. Allgaier
Dublin, Ireland
MAcc ’97

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The best advice I was ever given on this subject was during my senior year at BYU at a Beta Alpha Psi event. We were told that if others were drinking, we should also drink. The question was not whether to drink, but what to drink.

I have found that to be good advice. People are sometimes nervous when they’re drinking and others are not. Those drinking alcohol may feel that nondrinkers are being judgmental.

A simple nonalcoholic drink can take that tension away. People know what you’re drinking. But it doesn’t seem to matter. There is a greater sense of acceptance.

I remember when Elder Richard L. Evans of the Quorum of the Twelve became president of Rotary International. I was impressed with the fact he had been able to mix with such a diverse group and gain broad acceptance. What a great opportunity to showcase his beliefs.

It’s important for us to gain the acceptance of others if we want to maximize our influence. It’s my experience that this can be done without compromising one’s values or having them called into question.

Gary E. Condie
Stevenson Ranch, California
BS ’69

As director of corporate purchasing for a large corporation, I’m constantly traveling or attending meetings, lunches, dinners, and conferences. It’s normal for me to be around people who are drinking or smoking.

Since I play the role of “the customer,” you may think I would have an easier time escaping these situations. The reality is that my only total escape would be to find another line of work.

Taking a defensive or holier-than-thou approach is not the answer either. I’ve always felt it’s important to look beyond peoples’ actions and really try to get to know them. However, in the course of getting acquainted, I try to limit my time with any person or groups I feel would put me in a less than positive environment.

Mike Jones
Brandon, Florida
BS ’93
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Alumni Exchange: A forum for alumni to share ideas about challenges facing Marriott School graduates.

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