I had a liberal upbringing, growing up in Ireland in the 1950s and 1960s. I was free to go where I pleased, bicycling alone almost everywhere from the age of 12. I was never warned against drugs, underage sex, subversive television or dangerous strangers. There was a nun who told us we should never visit a man’s room alone after 12 o’clock at night and an aunt who said you shouldn’t marry a Protestant because they accept divorce, but apart from that I can scarcely remember being forbidden anything.
We lived then in an authoritarian country, where the law did all the forbidding, so our families hardly had to do any. The world has changed since then –in part for the better, in part for the worse– and the opposite is now common for parents raising their children. The culture now is officially liberal, so parents and educationalists have to do all the forbidding, warning against the dangers that await careless young people, from unsafe sex to predatory horrors on the Internet.
The cannabis law states that those in possession of marijuana will not be prosecuted. This is an example of how this paradox works. Once the law protected us from ourselves: but as the protection of the law decreases, so we have to take more responsibility to be our own inner police.
I. READING COMPREHENSIONa) ANSWER QUESTIONS 1-2 ACCORDING TO THE INFORMATION GIVEN IN THE TEXT. USE YOUR OWN WORDS.
1) What things was the writer warned against when she was young?
3) The writer’s parents were very strict.
II. USE OF ENGLISH7) Give a noun with the same root as FREE (adjective) (line 1).
“a member of a religious community of women” (noun)
Jenny said: “We have to take more responsibility.”
I was never warned against drugs.
The law did all the forbidding.
- If I could go anywhere I liked, WOULD CHOOSE THE CARIBBEAN.