Well it depends.
The metal version that we find in the ground has limited uses. If my understanding is correct it is a very good heat insulator, its relative scarcity is part of its attraction and it helps some people to feel good about themselves by wearing large amounts of preferably the most expensive variety.
We can’t eat it so it won’t sustain us, we can’t really build with it as there isn’t enough of the stuff and in relation to money, the gold standard is long gone.
So in reality gold actually isn’t really that important, but that all changes when it represents something truly valuable, such as the pinnacle of achievement represented by an Olympic gold medal.
John Lennon is quoted as saying,
“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”
Watching the interviews with the winning medallists at the Olympics, they were often saying that it was the ‘happiest moment of their lives’ that they were ‘grateful to all those that had helped them to achieve’ they were clearly in a fantastic place, and it was a joy to witness.
I doubt that alcohol has helped them to get to that pinnacle of achievement. For many children watching, alcohol will distort the way they view the world and the possibilities of what they may or may not achieve because it will be introduced to them as a form of ‘self medication’ as opposed to identifying the cause of whatever it is that they are trying to feel better about and resolving that.
The answers will never to be found at the bottom of a bottle.
Some children are taught that if they are unhappy they should have an alcoholic drink and it will make them feel better, if they are happy then they should have an alcoholic drink and they will feel even happier. Many are taught that happiness is a compromise and that somehow alcohol will help to manage that compromise when they realise that their life is nowhere near where they want it to be.
The competitors at the Olympics have a different message for our children.
I really hope that they are hearing it.