THIS week I talked with some ordinary blokes who have done some incredible things, not just in their community but for their country.
The one common theme that kept coming through was this word ‘mateship’.
I did try and discover what it meant and now I think I have a rough idea.
It seems to be a total belief in and reliance on the people around you that should anything go pear shaped, they will be there, have your back, carry you if need be, you will be held up and saved.
It got me thinking, how could this solid faith and trust transport itself to our younger generations and their friendship groups to prepare them for the stoush against ice and other drugs.
We all know about peer pressure and the impacts it can have. What about if the young uns of today changed that pressure from having-a-little-go-at-something-new mentality to one of, ‘nope you’re my mate, just don’t touch that stuff’.
Stopping a friend from self destructive behaviours or removing them from dangerous situations is no different from protecting a wounded mate in a bloody battlefield.
These kids are at war with the influx of more and more cheap and easy to access drugs.
They need to stand up for each other, they need to carry each other across the minefields of drug abuse and be firm in their battle lines.
We need to teach them real mateship is not pushing someone to do something that could mess them up for life, it is standing up and beside your mate who is perhaps not able to say no to peer pressure, for whatever reason. You be their voice.
We can see it in the history of war. Australians celebrate mateship and all it entails during times of crisis. Well, we are in a drug crisis.
Perhaps we can educate and encourage our children to think along the lines of it as a war and ask them to work out where they stand.
We all need to know how to talk to our children about drugs. I have no idea how to but I think the time is coming to open up a conversation with The Child.
And I am nervous as hell.
But it will always be their peers they will need the affirmation from so lets target that mateship and make them responsible for each other.
Maybe then we can take the win.
Trudi Herde-Rodda, journalist