We see the attempts by the social do-gooders to raise the drinking to 21. It would of course never be done, because of the power of the liquor industry, the pubs and clubs and effect on government revenue.
When I first moved to Queensland in 1973 the drinking age was 21 and I found it unthinkable that I was stopped and asked for ID to enter a hotel (I was over 21 anyway).
You see, I came from a small country town in NSW and I had left school at 15 and started work, towards the end of the first year of work I was 16.
I would go with the others, from work to the pub an Friday afternoon and sit at the bar in my overalls and have a beer with everyone.
I would look out through the window into the street and see my school friends who were smart enough to stay at school, in their school uniform walking down the street.
I would then see others my age, not even 17 come into the bar covered in dust and dirt after a hard day’s work on their father’s property, and have a beer with the other workers.
We never caused any harm; we never got into fights, or carried on like idiots. We knew it was part of growing up, we were treated like grown-ups and we acted accordingly.
Hence the idea I have always fostered; “If you act like one, I’ll treat you like one”.
I have met 20 year olds, that act like 10 year olds and I treat them as such. I have met 13-year-olds that act like 18-year-olds and I treat them that way.
It seems in the bar today, that if you are not violent, loud and abusive, then it is not any fun. If you cannot speak without swearing, then you have nothing to say, especially the young ladies, whose language is atrocious.
Is it that they feel inadequate, or not to be taken seriously, if they do not talk this way? Or is it just the social scourge of the television that makes them imagine, that they have to speak and behave this way, I don’t know. They have to have learnt somewhere. Was it in their home, at school or shopping mall?
I am not a ‘generation’ basher, however it seems that some children have far too much spare time on their hands. I see some kids working after school, sometimes two jobs and that’s great.
I see kids with their hands shaking as they hover over the keyboard at the supermarket checkout, trying to work out if it is a tomato or a potato that you have in the clear plastic bag.
I think it’s great. These kids deserve all the help, praise and encouragement that we can give them.
However when I see a group of badly dressed, foul mouthed 13-year-olds swearing at the top of their voice, wandering aimlessly in the shopping mall I wonder how many of them made their beds, swept the floor, washed up and cleaned their rooms before they left the house this morning, as we had to do.
So these are the ones that do-gooders want to ban from drinking until they are 21 and they are mature enough.
I think maturity is in the mind, if it is not taught at a young age then banning them from drinking will not achieve anything.
I believe that it needs a social change of attitude by all involved. Not just the children whose mind is a sponge, and has the capacity to absorb amazing amounts of information. It just needs to be the right information.
It needs the adults to have standards. Not adults whose morals, manners and attitudes have slipped down, like trousers with broken braces.
It is not the kid’s fault, if they have been let run wild as a child. It is not their faults that they swear, they have to have heard it somewhere.
Sure we can’t stop the swearing, violence, and crime, that appears on the TV all of the time. But we can explain that it is unacceptable to us, the way that they swear and behave. We can explain, just because it is done on tv with flair, does not mean that it is acceptable everywhere.
I am not prude, far from it, I swear with the best of them (or is it the worst of them?) but it has its place, not to be rammed down the neck of those whom are offended by it.
Look back at the morals, manners and standards of your parents, grandparents, and then look forward at your children and grandchildren.
What do you see? What would you like to see? How do we change what we see?
Do you think the drinking age should be changed? What should be done about unruly youths? Tell us below.