Ode to the Past

Feb 22nd, 2013 | By | Category: Blog, Opinion

This is not mine, but sometimes (well, frequently), someone else says it better than I ever could.  Granted, I did not grow up in the 1960s … but this is still true of my generation.  What does it say about today’s kids?  Yes, there are reasons some of these things have changed, and not all of them are necessarily BAD changes, but I think the point is well made by the author (I found it from a blog of Doug Ross, not sure he’s the original author).

I am one of the baby boomers, born between 1946 and 1964. I sometimes wonder how we survived our childhoods. Consider:

Our mothers smoked and/or drank while pregnant.

They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can and didn’t get tested for diabetes.

Then after that trauma, we were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs covered with brightly colored, lead-based paints.

There were no childproof lids on medicine or special locks on cabinet doors.

We we rode bikes, we wore baseball caps, not specially engineered helmets.

As infants, we rode in cars without car seats or booster seats, no seat belts and no air bags. Sometimes, as tots, we rode in small moving boxes packed with blankets and toys.

We rode in the back of pickup trucks and no one was arrested or cited.

We drank water from garden hoses, not from plastic bottles.

We shared a single bottle of Coca-Cola with three friends — and no one died.

We ate cupcakes with food coloring, white bread, real butter and bacon. In fact, we drank Kool-Aid mixed with tablespoons of real sugar.

Yet we weren’t overweight, because we were always outside playing.

We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when dusk fell. And no one was able to reach us all day. And: we were okay.

We’d spend hours in the forest with Daisy rifles, or building go-carts without brakes, or sledding with wooden and steel monstrosities that could sever a limb.

We did not have Playstations, Nintendo’s and X-Boxes. There were no video games, no cable television, no DVD players. There were no computers, no web, no Facebook, no Twitter.

We had friends and we went outside and found them… without cell phones or text messages.

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits resulting from these accidents. We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.

We were given BB guns and knives for our birthdays, made up games with sticks and tennis balls, played lawn darts and, although we were told it would happen, we did not put out many eyes.

We rode bikes or walked to a friend’s house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them.

Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn’t had to learn to deal with disappointment.

The boomers and their parents have produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers, inventors and entrepreneurs ever.

The last 50 years have seen an explosion of innovation and new ideas.

We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all.

We had the good fortune to grow up as kids in America, before the government regulated so much of our lives “for our own good”.

Give thanks, for such an age will never occur again.

One Comment to “Ode to the Past”

  1. Dan Biezad says:

    I’m a few years older than a “boomer” but remember a few other things of that age: We were “Ugly Americans” to the rest of the world–arrogant and elitist and boring; on July 5th the headlines of the Chicago Sun Times documented the blown off fingers, lost eyes, and kids caught on fire from the ubiquitous fireworks of the day before; people drove without seat belts, threw bags of garbage out of car windows while driving, and burned holes in the upholstery with their cigarettes; racism was accepted, people were old at 60, and a “don’t-rock-the-boat” conformity was the rule.
    It is bad now, but better than then…

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