Would serving alcohol be wrong livelihood?

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Training of Sila, the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).

Would serving alcohol be wrong livelihood?

Postby manas » Wed Jul 03, 2013 11:52 pm

If someone was offered a job in which they had to, as one aspect of it, serve alcohol to customers? Even though it would 'technically' be my employer who is purchasing and thus profiting from the sale, if it is given by my hand, would I not accrue bad kamma by doing so?

Given a choice, I would prefer a different job, but in this modern society one has to acquire bits of coloured paper to be able to get food and pay the bills. So I need to know in advance, in case such a job opportunity arose, whether it would be acceptable for me, as a Buddhist, to accept it, because when one has children one wants to give a better life to, one might have to accept whatever work one can, however unpalatable.

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Re: Would serving alcohol be wrong livelihood?

Postby Ben » Thu Jul 04, 2013 12:00 am

Manas,

I think you'll find your question discussed in this thread:
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=16659#p237533
kind regards,

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Re: Would serving alcohol be wrong livelihood?

Postby manas » Tue Jul 16, 2013 8:40 am

Ben wrote:Manas,

I think you'll find your question discussed in this thread:
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=16659#p237533
kind regards,

Ben


Thanks Ben, I will check out the discussion there.

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Re: Would serving alcohol be wrong livelihood?

Postby GusVanSpent » Tue Jul 30, 2013 10:52 pm

If you didn't find what you were looking for in that discussion. I think I have some insight from personal experience.

I was offered a job when I did not have enough money to pay for rent or food. I was desperate, I had searched everywhere for a job and eventually relented and made the attempt to apply at liquor stores which I personally did not wish to do, as I'd seen the negative side of it prior to finding Buddhism.

I have to say that I had quit drugs, smoking, drinking, I was right on the path of the Buddha, I felt love and compassion for everyone. But once I started working at the liquor store, I knew in my heart that I was helping people destroy themselves. And eventually I became bitter, started treating the customers poorly because I was projecting my distaste in my actions onto others. Eventually I began stealing from my work (simple things like lemonades and chips for lunch, because I felt they had earned the money to buy those things through evil deeds and did not deserve to make what they were making off people), needless to say this led to stealing and drinking alcohol and back again to drugs, which led to lying to cover things up, which led to distancing myself from others, which ultimately took me off the path and even to this day I still have not been able to find my way back.

If you want a personal experience for an answer, let me tell you that choosing to sell alcohol was the worst mistake of my life, given the chance to go back with my mind unfettered as it was, I would sooner starve than accept that job.
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Re: Would serving alcohol be wrong livelihood?

Postby manas » Wed Jul 31, 2013 5:23 am

GusVanSpent wrote:If you didn't find what you were looking for in that discussion. I think I have some insight from personal experience.

I was offered a job when I did not have enough money to pay for rent or food. I was desperate, I had searched everywhere for a job and eventually relented and made the attempt to apply at liquor stores which I personally did not wish to do, as I'd seen the negative side of it prior to finding Buddhism.

I have to say that I had quit drugs, smoking, drinking, I was right on the path of the Buddha, I felt love and compassion for everyone. But once I started working at the liquor store, I knew in my heart that I was helping people destroy themselves. And eventually I became bitter, started treating the customers poorly because I was projecting my distaste in my actions onto others. Eventually I began stealing from my work (simple things like lemonades and chips for lunch, because I felt they had earned the money to buy those things through evil deeds and did not deserve to make what they were making off people), needless to say this led to stealing and drinking alcohol and back again to drugs, which led to lying to cover things up, which led to distancing myself from others, which ultimately took me off the path and even to this day I still have not been able to find my way back.

If you want a personal experience for an answer, let me tell you that choosing to sell alcohol was the worst mistake of my life, given the chance to go back with my mind unfettered as it was, I would sooner starve than accept that job.


Hi Gus

well I thank you for your candour. The original concern I had has passed, actually, but it was good to hear that testimony. It now looks like I will be working with plants, at a nursery or (I hope) getting some work experience in a local farm setting (although such work is usually seasonal and thus sporadic). So waitering etc won't need to be resorted to, thankfully. Because as you say, even if it is 'allowable' since the profit is made not by the employee but rather by the employer, still, given a preference, I would rather have nothing to do with serving an intoxicant to anyone. As a Buddhist, the idea is distasteful.

Note to Mods: if it would be best to merge this topic with the abovementioned previous discussion on this, I don't mind this topic getting merged with that one, to save space.

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