I don’t know how many people have heard of this nek nomination craze which started in Australia. A person downs an (alcohol) concoction, and then dares two other people to do the same. For some youngsters the more outrageous the dare the better. How boring if you simply down one little glass of beer…… In Ireland a youngster died a couple of weeks ago, after jumping into an icy cold river, after downing his drink and another young Irishman was found unconscious in his apartment after participating in the nek nomination craze. I see now, a third young man has died – “Mr Richardson mixed a whole bottle of white wine with a small bottle of vodka, a quarter bottle of whisky and a can of lager.” Do people really think their bodies are capable of dealing with such a high percentage of alcohol in one go and coming away unscathed? Crazy. I won’t deny that I didn’t do stupid stuff when I was in my late teens, early twenties, and I had my fair share of party hangovers, and a couple of pretty bad ones at that. I rarely drank spirits though. My worst hangover was when I had a couple of shots of tequila, after an afternoon/evening of drinking beer and wine at a friend’s 21st. Being a bunch of “girls”, my friends and I never felt the need to outdo each when it came to drinking and we certainly never played drinking games. We drank because we were young, because that’s what we thought we had to do to have a good party and we probably thought it made us more “grown up” and sophisticated. We also didn’t live in age of Facebook, You Tube and peer pressure was not nearly as great on us. We were young nurses, wanting a good party every now and then, after dealing with sometimes seriously ill and dying people and that’s how we dealt with it and fortunately we all outgrew our “IT’S TIME FOR A PARTY!!!” mentality by the time we were in our mid to late twenties. Now the most I drink is a glass of wine or two with my meal, just to unwind a tad.
Well, it took a South African man to do something different ((http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-wztJ4m6xE) by giving a man begging in the traffic some food and then nominating two other people to do something similar instead of drinking booze, and it’s taken off. His decision to do that was by thinking that one day, he didn’t want his children to google him and seem him mindlessly quaffing down alcohol. Good on him. I see his You Tube post of what he did, has over 400 000 views, and he has started up a facebook page called “Change One Thing” which encourages people to do good things. All too often we hear negative stories coming out of South Africa, and living here one can’t help feeling down in the dumps sometimes, about things like crime, HIV, poor service delivery, protests etc etc etc. So it’s always great to hear of good people doing their best to make a difference. We need more people like that not only in South Africa but all over the world. So go for it – but do it as a RAK nomination (random act of kindness) and not as a NEK (whatever that stands for!) nomination.