A Fairy Story

Once upon a time there were places in the world where children were not mini adults. Little boys wore short trousers and climbed trees and made camps. Little girls played with dolls and wore frilly dresses. Children went to school and were mostly respectful to teachers and other adults. On the radio at teatime Uncle Mac told stories and there were plays about gangs – but these gangs were friends who played together and had names for their group – like The Pirates or The Outlaws….. Television had comedies and dramas and musical entertainments like Sunday Night at the Palladium .. on the tv policemen were portrayed as avuncular bobbies who walked the beat and knew everyone in their neighbourhood. Sex was something that most children knew little about – and were not really interested in until puberty kicked in….at around 13 -14 years of age. And drugs ? Well they were things the doctor gave you when you were ill.

But times change. Even baby boys don’t wear short trousers anymore – they wear mini-jeans – preferably with a name ! Imagine – clothes with names – like Baby Gap …… And the little girls, as young as 5 or 6 wear crop tops often with pretend tattoos on their midriffs – and they can buy make up in a special range for children…. and gangs ? well they are pretty vicious these days – they have sometimes bullied other children so badly that their victims have committed suicide. These gangs have been known to terrorise older folk too so that they are frightened to leave their homes. Sex ? Well there are a lot more cases of sexually transmitted diseases in young teens, and far too many 16 or 17 year old girls become mothers and lose not only their innocence but their ambitions and their potential.

And drugs ? Lots of newspapers and magazines write stories about drugs. Pop stars record songs about drugs. Films star ‘heroes’ who use drugs. People say that drugs are no big deal. They say that its normal to do drugs. They say – let’s not make criminals out of people who break the law – and the real siren song is – why don’t we legalise all drugs ?

Well in many fairy stories there are mythical beasts – and in this story we have the Beast with Seven Eyes.

Sadly, there is much truth in this fairy story. The culture of our society has changed so much that early sexual behaviours and the use of drugs has become much more common place. If we want to change our society and revert to some of the more healthy behaviours of the past, if we want to prevent young people from using drugs and help them to reach their potential we need to change our attitudes and ensure that drug use once again becomes unacceptable.
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