Today’s post was inspired by an update that is (once again) circulating over at facebook. I confess… every time I read it I am reminded of how much I appreciate the childhood I had. Here’s the post:
If you grew up on home cooked meals, rode in the car with no seat belt, lived in a house that was not “child-proofed,” shopped at stores that closed on Sundays, got a spanking when you misbehaved, had a TV with “rabbit ears” & only 4 channels that you had to get up to change, and if you got in trouble at school-you got in trouble at home, drank water out of a garden hose & still turned out okay, re-post this.
All of that above was part of my childhood, (okay, the ‘still turned out okay’ may not be a foregone conclusion yet :)) and I had a truly GREAT childhood… yet here’s the thing – Though life really was different back then, it certainly wasn’t necessarily better.
It seems to me that we risk falling into a sticky trap when looking back longingly on ‘the good old days’. Oh certainly, there is benefit to giving thought to whether or not we, as a society, are compromising some core values that would best be left in place. Yet even there… as times change, the way we express those values has to be open to change too.
For example… most of us would acknowledge that we value ‘freedom’. And I notice that sometimes… we resist a change because we think it some way impinges on our freedom. Take the issue of seat belts. What a practical solution to the increasing risk of death or injury from car crashes as more and more cars started to appear on more and more roads. Yet there were more than a few people who scoffed at the idea and simply refused to consider this change, claiming they were uncomfortable and restricted their freedom in the car. I admit… I find the urge to legislate laws into our lives about common sense changes to be more than a bit perplexing and totally unnecessary… but it seems to me that any intelligent person, upon giving it the slightest bit of thought, will be able to appreciate an invention that gives them a higher probability of surviving a crash which has a higher chance of happening due to the fact that times have changed and more people driving on more roads means more crashes.
And so it is with each of those things mentioned above that evoke such wonderful memories… but seriously, in the 50′s/60′s there simply wasn’t that much to ‘child-proof’ against.
Just today on the news I heard about a student at the U of M getting hit and killed by a truck while bicycling across the street; and while I really don’t know the specifics around that event… it seems to me the fact the bicyclist wasn’t wearing a helmet and had her ears plugged with ear buds as she listened to her ipod just might have limited her freedom to hear that truck taking a right turn into her. And again… that’s not to say there weren’t kids hit by trucks while on their bicycles back in the day before helmets and ipods were created… however, given that they are here, wouldn’t we be wise to use them responsibly? And NO! I’m not saying “there oughta be a law” — I am saying,
As guardians to the young in our lives, let’s be thankful for the many changes and invite our children to take best advantage of them. (like hey, you might want to wipe that hose nozzle on your pant leg before taking a sip! LOL)