The Good Old Days are Gone - for Good
following piece appeared in The Scottish Banner, with the request to pass
it on “to others who had the luck to grow up as kids before lawyers
and government regulated our lives for our own good!”....
“According to today’s regulators and bureaucrats, those who were kids in the ‘30’s to the early ‘70’s, probably shouldn’t have survived.
*Our baby cribs were covered with bright, coloured lead-based paint.
*We had no childproof lids or locks on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets.
*When we rode our bikes, we had no helmets.
*We played hockey and baseball without helmets and mouth guards. Our parents rarely attended our games, never mind drove us there.
*Then there were the risks we took hitchhiking.
*We rode in cars without safety belts or air bags.
*Riding in the back of a pick up truck was considered a special treat.
*Public swimming pools actually had diving boards –a low one and a high one on which we tested our nerve.
*We actually went swimming without a lifeguard or adults present to make sure that we didn’t drown.
*We drank water out of a garden hose, not from a bottle. Horrors!
*We ate cupcakes, bread and butter and soda pop with sugar in it, but we never fat because we were always outside playing.
*We shared pop with four friends, all drinking from the same bottle, and no one actually died from this.
*We spent hours building go-carts out of scraps and then rode down hills only to find we had forgotten about brakes. After running into bushes, we solved the problem.
*We would leave home in the morning and play all day and as long as were home when the streetlights went on, no one worried. No one was able to reach us all day, no cell phones.
*We didn’t have Playstations, Nintendo 64, XI-Boxes. No video games, no 99 channels on cable, no videotaped movies, no surround sound, personal computers, no internet chat rooms.
*We had friends. We went out and found them.
*We played dodge ball, and sometimes to ball really hurt.
*We fell out of trees, got cuts and sometimes broken bones and teeth, but there were no lawsuits from these accidents. No one was to blame but us. Remember “accidents?”
*We had fights and punched each other and got black eyes and learned to get over it.
*We made up games with sticks and tennis balls and although we were told it would happen, we did not poke out any eyes.
*We rode bikes or walked to friends’ homes and knocked on the door, rang the bell, or walked in. Doors were seldom locked during the day.
*In the fall, we raked leaves off lawns for cash, piled them on the street and then set fire to them. Rarely did we burn down the neighbourhood or contaminate our lungs with smoke, or break pollution laws.
*Some of us in small towns actually owned .22 rifles and went shooting groundhogs in farmers’ fields on weekends.
*Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those that didn’t learned to cope with disappointment.
* In school or organized games, we kept score and had winners and losers—not bland, no score, non-contests.
*Some kids weren’t as smart as others, so when they failed a grade in school, they returned next year to repeat the year. Horrors.
*Tests were not “adjusted” for any reason.
*When teachers were cross with us or punished us, our parents never threatened the teacher, but were inclined to side with the teacher.
*Our actions were our own. Consequences were expected.
*The idea of parents bailing us out if we got into trouble in school or broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with authority.
*These generations have produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers, inventors and self-sufficient citizens in our society.
*We had freedom, failure, success, responsibility and, yes, disappointments. But we learned to deal with them.
Are you one of these?
If so, congratulations.
© Aug 30th 2003 - Peter Worthington a Toronto Sun Columnist, who's articles can usually be found here
copy very kindly supplied by Radmilla
and her wonderful Blog