I wasn’t raised in the city. To this day I still don’t feel comfortable being in a bar, club or lounge. I was raised in a very conservative household and community. Throughout my adolescence I was told by almost everyone I respected that people who go out at night, or who live the “nightlife” are living an ungodly lifestyle.
That’s a lot to take in. It totally shaped my perspective of drinking alcohol, going to bars or social clubs, etc. Now as an adult, though I understand that all things are permissible, but not all things are beneficial, I am still learning the full truth about living the nightlife.
A few nights ago I walked into a nice bar with a friend (let’s call my friend Joe). We stopped to speak to a friend of his while on the way back to my car.
Just as we reach the bar entrance we are greeted by a large security guard. I expect him to ask for my ID’s, check me for weapons or charge me some entrance fee. But, he treated me like I was a very important person or a friend.
At the time I was shocked… as I have never had a security guard be so nice to me. Why was he so nice to us? My friend Joe later told me he knew the owner of the bar/lounge.
Immediately after entering the bar/lounge area, we’re greeted by friends of Joe who were sitting at the bar. They even extended their greeting towards me, which made me feel so comfortable. It was such an unsual feeling… as this maybe the first time I felt comfortable at a bar, and I wasn’t ordering food or watching a sports game.
Going to the bar with Joe was like visiting the black elite version of Cheers or something 🙂 . It gave me a different experience of going to bars. Just the thought, that I could feel a sense of community at a bar, is definitely something new. As, in my adult life the only public places where I expect to possibly see my friends is either at a fitness gym, grocery store or at church.
Who wouldn’t want to go to a place where they feel a sense of community? The truth is, the nightlife experience for the wealthy and social elites is much different than it is for the average person.
I want to socialize in places where I enjoy myself. I want the opportunity to meet interesting people and freely engage in intelligent conversations. I want to go somewhere I feel welcome. In many cases I don’t feel the church can facilitate this type of atmosphere. Which makes the social nightlife environments truly essential.
The truth about the nightlife is not all bars, social clubs, or lounges are the same. And, how I experience the nightlife is greatly dependent on who I’m with and where I go.
Yes, there are drunks, drug users, perverts, etc. living the nightlife. And, guess what? The truth is that there are also other people who are living the nightlife as well, like business professionals, responsible single adults, creative-minded people or simply anyone who wants to get away from home. I just have to find the right scene.
The experience of visiting the bar with Joe reminds me of the benefits of having good friends. We are who we surround ourselves with.
I do not resent my upbringing. I love how I was raised. Most bars in Louisiana are crazy 🙂 . I totally get that. Living the “nightlife” will not buy anyone a one-way ticket to hell. However, it’s also definitely not the lifestyle of a pastor or Christian leader.
As a mature man I live based upon truth, not just my childhood beliefs.