Kurt Bell

A life of courage, joy and independence.

Non-drinker in Japan 非酒飲みとしての日本での生活

“Hi Kurt,

Part of the reason I don’t drink is because both of my parents and my younger brother (who I live with) do drink. I have seen them drink and have seen how alcohol changes them. It makes my brother more angry, argumentative, destructive and impulsive. It makes my father more impatient and uncaring. My mother drinks bourbon so much. It makes her act uncaring and unsympathetic. I just won’t do it. I don’t want to amplify my personality flaws with alcohol.

Another reason I don’t drink or smoke is because I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Members of my church are known as mormons. We have a health code that asks us to voluntarily refrain from alcohol,tobacco,coffee,tea and illegal drugs. I honor that code, but I don’t want to only be friends with mormons.

One of the things that I fear about being in Japan is the enkai. I know I will stand out if I politely explain that I don’t drink alcohol. Japanese people also may not understand why I don’t drink matcha. Other mormons in Japan must get by some way. Another thing I fear is silent rejection, because, as I understand it, most Japanese will not tell you how they really feel if they have a negative feeling for you. They will just not invite you next time.

Japan has about 126,407 mormons. That is less than 1 in 1,000 people. There is no way I am going to limit my friendships to other mormons in Japan.

Here are some facts and statistics about my church in Japan:

On a side note, I remember you are originally from California. I served as a full-time missionary for my church in Los Angeles from 1999-2001, when I was 20 and 21.

I know you are an atheist, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to be your friend. In fact, I do want to be your friend. I value your experiences and point of view. When I get to Japan, I want to go to meetups with other YouTube creators. I want to be friends with as many of them as will accept me, whether or not they drink alcohol. When I get to Japan I am willing to drink non-alcoholic beer with friends, in order to get along and grease the social wheels.

I am an academic at heart. I consider myself very open-minded and ready to listen to many points of view in a nonjudgmental way.

I hope you understand. I really respect you and your willingness to give advice. I respect people who are older than me and have more experience in life. I seek after that perspective.


Patrick :-)”


Welcome to the LylesBrother blog. My name is Kurt Bell and I am delighted that you have taken some time to share a little of life with me. If you are someone struggling to find your footing in life then please consider visiting our self-help and support website at http://sonsofgrizzly.com. I’m also available on social media if you have questions or just want to chat and say hi. All links are listed below. I look forward to meeting you on-line. Have a great day!

The Path of WildnessThe Path of Wildness is easy to find
The course of a stream
Leaves blown in the wind
A beast’s track through the brush
And the direction of our first inclination

The Path of Wildness is an answer and response to a prescribed way of life which may leave some individuals with a sense that their living is little more than a series of pre-determined, step-like episodes between birth and death. The stages of living between these events: childhood, adolescence, adulthood, parenthood and senior are themselves natural and in accord with the needs of the species and most individuals. Many find their satisfaction in living this course and to these individuals I have little or nothing to say. Others though long for something more; something innate, genetic and seemingly calling. Adventure and change can give a degree of satisfaction and relief yet even these may seem too tame. To those who feel drawn to something beyond the entertainment and stimulation of senses I offer a walk along The Path of Wildness. Don’t bother penciling the event in your schedule, preparing a pack with goodies and supplies or even inviting a friend along, for this experience is along the course of your first inclination and you must surely always go alone.

The Path of Wildness Resources

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You can also reach me via email at the following address: softypapa@gmail.com


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