by Anton Wills-Eve

<a href=””>Echo</a&gt;

I can still hear the Echo  of  ‘a minimis incipe’.


I was idly browsing various news sites yesterday when the first serious warning I had in my life echoed again through my mind. I came across a strange video clip from Colorado. Eight children, four male four female, were talking about their everyday lives and being completely honest on matters of sex, drugs, sexting, dating etc. It was fascinating and very revealing, especially as they were aged 13-15!

This post deals almost solely with one of the above topics. Drugs.  ‘A Minimis Incipe’ was our school motto. It means ‘from small beginnings.’ It was meant to be encouraging but turned out to be a dreadful warning as we grew up. It pointed out the worst pitfalls before us in our lives.

But a final introductory word before I begin. All eight kids were born in the age of social media and their devious ways of using this technology to confuse and mislead their parents was genuinely frightening. Especially their complete lack of any sense of morality or ethics when it came to lying to their families. It was normal for them. My first university girlfriend (briefly) came from Vale, Colorado, she was a good 100 years more innocent and pleasant than this lot. But that was October 1960. From here all names have been changed.

So we have eight youngsters all agreed that their leisure time was dominated by i-phones of some sort. But this took up time so one of them actually seemed to be admitting, rather shame-facedly, that she was still a virgin. The other seven looked as though they thought or knew she was lying. But the one thing they all agreed on very enthusiastically was smoking pot. All eight placed it as the number one thing in their lives, and as cannabis is allowed in their state, they could not understand why anyone would query their choice. The conversation went something like this.

“Why do you smoke cannabis Bill?” asked the anchor lady in the news room. A surprised, 14 year-old Bill replied,

“Well you can’t refuse it at a party, nobody would speak to you again. They’d think you a wimp. Anyways it relaxes me and all the pressure of school, sports, social clubs and home life go away when you get a little high.”

That dear readers was the opinion of all eight youngsters round that table. They had all had their first drag, their first realisation that their anxieties could be eased by the start of a terrible form of self abuse against which they had been warned but took no notice at all. And it gets worse. This one really shook me. It was 13 year old Angie talking now. “Oh but the real fun starts when you and your friend have swapped cell phone numbers and gotten a third friend who plays along to stay at home, her turn, and take all calls from your parents pretending to be her own mother and confirming that you are all having a fun sleep over at her house.

“Of course the parties we go to are all ‘mixed pill’ parties.”

“They are what?”

“Oh that’s when everyone gets pretend depression or similar symptoms and the school doctor prescribes tranquillisers of different sorts. As you go in to the party you have to throw some pills into a bag. Then, when we are all there, the bag is shaken up and everyone has to take four pills without looking and just swallow them with some sort of alcohol. We often do that. After the last party I don’t even know where I slept or who with. But I remember feeling great and then woke up feeling sick. It’s good fun.”

Look I could go on, but do I have to? It appears that this lifestyle is common knowledge to some 95% of all teenage school children in the States and some 50% probably behave regularly just like the lot above. I won’t go into the prurient details of sexting that followed the drugs bit. The point I want to make, and so forcefully I would do almost anything to achieve my goal, is to make people of this age realise that from small beginnings, the first drag, that first curious sexual experiment of any sort, comes a desire and then a need for ever more exhilarating, ever more relaxing, finally ever more brain-destroying cravings for the hard drugs that ruin millions of lives around the world.

The other day someone called me naïve for not realising that the twenty first century was a new age, a new world and just because I was seventy four I had no right to stop modern people behaving as they pleased.

I wasn’t naïve, I was experienced. I had seen and knew so many stories of lives ruined and lost, loving parents unable to see where they went wrong, and worst of all the horrible predators who stalked the dependent, lost addicts and just fed their habit for whatever they could get from them or use them for. If that is the twenty first century world we are supposed to admire I’m afraid I just don’t. I HATE it. And HATE is the one word in my vocabulary for which I have no use at all except in this instance. All of you, please be warned it is so easy to take the first step in any direction in life but that last step to happiness will often be a step too far, the one you may never be able to take.