I have just sent off a letter to the editor of our daily newspaper. Unfortunately, due to the word limit, I could not include the second part of my composition. So, I have included the whole letter here:
Dear Editor, You know something? Schoolies Week (and just the part on the Gold Coast) boosts the economy there by tens of millions of dollars, as thousands of teenage kids wreck themselves. The drunkenness, foul language, violence (yes, violence) and sex, all necessitating not only police presence but the presence of government first aid providers, is hardly a good way to mark the supposed wonderful passage from dependent adolescent to mature adulthood. For some of these kids it is the first time they have been away from their parents. Who is there to guide them? No mum, no dad, no teacher. And that is just the way they want it - and just why they are ‘celebrating’. But it seems all wrong. And, yes, I know that some kids are OK and some kids do just have fun and some kids go to other places. But, even so, I have trouble combining, in my mind: kids, alcohol and the surf at Torquay.
I could find no accurate figure to tell how many deaths have occurred as a result of Schoolies Weeks, but it’s certainly more than one - and one is one too many! Time to say “No”!
Way back in 1959 a wise (U.S.) judge, Phillip B. Gilliam, uttered words that might be taken heed of…(and I paraphrase): “Always we hear the cry from teenagers ‘What can we do, where can we go?’ My answer is, “Go home, mow the lawn, wash the windows, learn to cook, build a raft, get a job, visit the sick, study your lessons, and after you’ve finished, read a book. Your town does not owe you recreational facilities and your parents do not owe you fun. The world does not owe you a living, you owe the world something. You owe it your time, energy and talent so that no one will be at war, in poverty or sick and lonely again. In other words, grow up, stop being a cry baby, get out of your dream world and develop a backbone, not a wishbone. Start behaving like a
responsible person. You are important and you are needed. It’s too late to sit around and wait for somebody to do something someday. That some day is now and that someone is you”.
I choose to comment on social issues and write creatively on a variety of subjects - for a variety of audiences.