Image via WikipediaDid the cave man bemoan children drawing pictures on the cave wall saying, "I remember back before we discovered fire and we actually talked to each other."
People tell me that back in the "good old days" we did things a bit differently. That is what they say. It is not as clear to me as it is to some. This morning we received an email from a friend lauding the wonders of the good old days. The good old days it seems were perfect. We went swimming in clear blue streams, there were no video games, we ate hamburger and lettuce prepared on the same surface with no ecoli illness and you received a good spanking when you hurt yourself goofing off at the neighbor's house. It all sounds so appealing and simple.
SEX was whispered information and surviving the flu happened without pills and many times without a visit to the doctor. At least that is the way people remember it. The reality was we took long rides over slick roads to a doctor that dispensed huge penicillin shots plus narcotic pills to kills the pain. Those that did not have cars went to a local nurse that used the same dull needle over and over for shots that did no good.
The little stream we swam in bore the water the ran near the outhouse. We got very sick. Our mothers knew that bad water might make us sick. when the outhouse tipped over in the river, we were not allowed to swim there anymore.
I just don't believe that the good old days were better. I saw the neighbor man chased his children around the house with a belt so he could beat them. Children died in fires and of the flu. Pedaphiles scared us to death and the doors were locked at night. "Drugs" were not a threat to our homes but alcoholism was a rampant problem. Women were beaten by angry men. Infidelity lurked behind closed doors. If you have ever read "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" written before WWII you will see that the more things change the more they stay the same.
It is pure bunk when we think things were so much better then! Those old houses that we were so proud to own are home to people still. The way I remember it people took care of those old houses but that might not be true. I know that those houses are very rundown now. I don't know why...maybe the people that live there now are sad or beaten. I know that back when I was a child the people were. It could be that they are not dissatisfied in those houses today. Maybe they like where and how they live. We certainly did.
Child abuse, disease, accidents and dependence on drugs/alcohol are still problems. The fact that we are more aware of these problems is all that has changed. We live longer so memory's sharp edges are worn smooth...I have some doubts about the value of that. But we don't throw our arms up in the air and ignore problems like we once did. I like that a lot. Humans should be repairing any damage they create and protecting the innocent...other wise they are no better than animals.
Incidentally, I was raised in a very small town in Eastern Oregon. Everyone worked but many barely survived. Children went to school without coats. Many were not clean. Most people worked in a local mine or for Union Pacific Railroad. We thought we were very lucky and loved where we lived. We were proud! We did not live in the "good old days". We just lived in an era marked by community pride. We saw through eyes that ignored the bad and focused on the good!
The good old days are being lived out by children today. They too will talk about "back when I was a child...." And so it goes.
Have a wonderful day!