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I am a self proclaimed coffee addict and Executive Director of a non profit missions agency working primarily in the Mexican cities of Oaxaca, Guadalajara, and Ensenada. I've been married for over 30 years to Chelle, and we have one grown son, Joseph, a graduate of Auburn University in Alabama.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

A Little Reflection

A good friend passed this on to me recently. As our society becomes more litigious and people become more concerned about what might go wrong, I worry about our ability to live a simple joyful life. So for all of you who were born sometime before 1970, enjoy the memories and think about how much life has changed over the years.

We survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they were 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 bright colored lead-based paints. We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets.
We rode in cars with no special seats, seat belts or air bags. And riding in the back of a pick up was just something cool that we did.

We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle. We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and no one died. We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter, or margarine loaded with trans fats, and drank Kool-Aid made with sugar, but we weren't overweight because, we spent our days outside playing.

We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on. No one was able to reach us all day and we were O.K. We spent hours playing every type of game you could imagine from tag to hopscotch. We built go-carts out of scraps and old lawn mowers and then rode wherever we wanted only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes or the curb a few times, we learned to solve the problem.

We did not have Playstations, Nintendo's, X-boxes, or video games. Television consisted of only a few channels and our parents always made the choices. We had no videos, no DVD's, no surround-sound, no cell phones, no personal computers, no Internet, no chat rooms and you listened to music on vinyl. What we did have was friends and we went outside and found them!

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents. We ate worms, fruit off of trees, mud pies, and God know what else and lived to tell.

We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, made up games with sticks and tennis balls and, although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very 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 and Bobbi-Sox had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment. The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law! These generations have produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever! The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas. We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all.

If you are one of them, congratulations, somehow you managed to live through it.

Comments on "A Little Reflection"

 

Blogger Flag Gazer said ... (9:29 AM) : 

Well said!

We also lived through station wagons with the rear seat facing backwards!!

 

Blogger Dave Miller said ... (10:46 AM) : 

I remember those. Once I was on a trip with my girlfriends family and her and I were in that back seat making out the whole trip. I am not sure how safe it was, but it sure fun!

 

Anonymous Gordon Mallon said ... (8:39 AM) : 

How about playing basketball and tackle football in the school yard or playground without any adults around to spoil the fun by making sure we were following the rules, and "doing it right."

My theory is that youth sports is the cause of a lot of the problems faced by youth today. Us adults are so intent on making sure our kids have a great experience and become the next Michael Jordon that we take the fun out of it. I wonder home many Michael Jordans today quit at age ten and pick up the video game control.
Just one example. K-1 Tee ball games in which the dads think their kid is too good to hit of a tee so everyone stands around while the poor kid tries to do something that they are not developmentally ready for. The kid has rare success and everyone else is board to death. In my town a 2 inning tee ball game takes about an hour and a half because of this. When I was in college, I umped everything from tee ball to high school. Everyone hit off the tee and we played an eight inning game in an hour. and everyone batted every inning.

Rant over. Please resume your normal activities.

 

Blogger Dave Miller said ... (10:23 AM) : 

Gordon, I'm with ya! I am sure you have heard your share of stories about people who attacked coaches because their kid did not play, thereby robbing him of the opportunity. Maybe the kid was just not good enough.

PS I know you are a Duck, but congrats to your fellow Oregonians at State for beating Cal.

 

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