Bourbon and the Big Picture

I made a Facebook promise to post on Downton Abbey–bear with me…I got sidetracked by bourbon.

Almost fifteen years in Kentucky has taught me to appreciate good bourbon.

My preference is Bulleit, but I’m also partial to Elijah Craig and you really can’t go wrong with Woodford Reserve. I prefer it straight, over two cubes of ice, in an Old Fashioned glass. And I think the only reason you should drink Maker’s Mark is because you intend to mix it with something else (and why would you do that?).

Social media exploded this week over the decision of Maker’s Mark to “water down” their product in an effort to meet demand. So be it, I guess–they’ll do what they have to do, and I don’t really have a dog in this particular fight; that said, I did find the decision of the (I’m sure) good folks over at Maker’s to reverse that watering down interesting.

Mostly because I’m wondering–what if we got half as riled up, in even half such a public way, over, oh, I don’t know…sex-trafficking? Bullying? The billions of dollars we spend on any number of things in this country as compared to what we pay our public school teachers or ensure quality childcare for working parents?

What if we rose up in collective digital outrage over food deserts? Or the lack of clean water in most developing countries? What if we cared so much about every single human being in this world having enough to eat, safe shelter, gainful employment if desired, a life free from violence, and the promise of a good education, that we said, “No!” to anything less with the kind of vim and vigor that those who want their bourbon at a solid 90-proof did this week?

What if, for once, we cried out in the face of money and power talking and refused to listen?

I don’t mean to be self-righteous, and, like I said, I am most fond of a glass of Kentucky’s finest, but really?!? Such an uprising–so as to turn the tide of a major company–over our liquor? I feel like that might be taking customer’s rights a little too seriously.

I have a dear friend who, when I’m in a total snit over a situation or conversation or project that hasn’t gone my way, is really good about saying to me, “Jules? Think for a minute. Will this matter this time next year? C’mon, think about it–in the big picture of your life, does this particular thing really make a difference?”

Generally, the answer is my chagrined, “No.”

In the big picture–the longview–how we treat one another matters most of all. How we respect one another, honor one another, care for one another as brothers and sisters in this life. And sometimes that means speaking out when it is easier not to. Stepping up when we’d rather stay seated and out of the fray. Taking our bourbon at a little less potency than we’re accustomed to, because, truthfully, it doesn’t really matter.

It feels like there is too much heartache in this world to live any other way, you know?




About Julie Richardson Brown

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