I grew up in the 70's and 80's and I don't remember having many of the conversations I have with my children, with my parents, siblings or friends back then.
I used to think that maybe I was sheltered by things and everything was going on back then but when I think about it, I was always watching news with my mom, always watching the news shoes, listening to the radio, reading newspapers, current events was my favorite subject in school. I mean, I don't remember a time that I didn't know a little about everything that was happening in my own country or across the world.
I remember different stories that really hit home. Drunk driving accidents and children who were abused, murdered, kidnapped. I remember seeing stories about starving children in other countries, innocent people being killed, towns being destroyed, countries at war, but, I don't remember a time when all of the evil that seems to be going on these days, was the "norm" as it seems to be now.
Times were much simpler then. There didn't seem to be as many rules, laws, regulations, whether at school, in my town, neighborhood, my state or country.
I remember when the funniest tag we ever saw was that tag they put on mattresses. Now, everywhere I look, there are warning labels of some sort on absolutely everything. I often wonder, did somebody actually do whatever the label is warning you about? How else would somebody know to warn us NOT to eat the contents of an ice pack, unless somebody else actually opened it up and attempted to eat that for some reason?!
I remember having so much fun riding in the beds of pick up trucks, with a group of friends. We usually did this on the weekends and through the summer, when our neighbor, Ed, would take all of the kids on our block to the local ice cream shop. Now, we aren't allowed to sit back there. It is unsafe. We could be killed. What changed?
I remember when I was in school and my family planned a vacation. We didn't have to go through a pile of paperwork, signatures on several forms, approval meetings or anything of the sort. My mom would walk us to school and our principal was usually always outside each morning, waiting for all of us to arrive. She would say, "Dr Richter, we will be leaving for Kentucky in a week. The kids won't be in school until the following week. Could you please let their teachers know so they can gather their work for them?"
and Dr Richter would say, "No problem! We'll have it sent home by Friday! I hope you have a nice trip!"
That was it.
We had our fair share of bullies in those days too. We had a few boys who would step on the backs of our shoes so they would slip off when we walked. (I would call that "being picked on" to be honest.) Although, we did have a few incidents that were a bit more serious than that.
There were rare times where everybody would be anxious for 3:15pm when school let out, because word got around there would be a fight outside. (These were usually broken up even before they began. That would upset some of us, I mean, who doesn't want to see a good fist fight after school?) We didn't want anybody to be hurt, we just weren't thinking about that. We were thinking more like a boxing match in real life or some scene from an action movie. But, they never did look that cool anyway. We never really had anybody hurt.
We had recess bullies who were always stopped by the teachers who were standing there to make sure everybody was having fun and being treated fairly. and we had those pests who would spread rumors :/ Those were usually stopped pretty quickly and we had a lesson about rumors, I think, every year through elementary school.
But, what is this mess we are in now? What is different about the bullies today? I understand there were some bullies, violence, evil, all kinds of terrible things before all of this. But it didn't seem to be as often as it is now.
I didn't live in a big city but it was a good size. We had grocery stores, a few elementary schools, 2 high schools, 2 malls, it wasn't a super small town.
We left that town about 8 years ago since everything changed so much, (Not for the best either.) and I know this has happened across the country, It isn't just here.
So, why are there warning labels on every single thing we buy? Why do we have to be told what we can and can not do? Why are we treated like a bunch of immature dunces? Why do we have to be told things that we should just generally know and comprehend ourselves?
I can't get through even an hour on Facebook or any other social media network, without seeing some "trending" news or "news alert" that is some horrific story, event, tragedy.
I thought at first that maybe it was due to the internet but it's the same thing with the radio, newspapers and television. I thought maybe the internet possibly removed all that we know and knew and replaced it with some twisted, false memories and maybe the world wide web, completely unraveled everything we were taught. I still think this is part of it.
But, somewhere, somehow, people as a whole, changed.
The ultimate reason behind everything that goes on in this world, isn't due to any system, any inanimate objects. How could it be? People created these things. and people use them and work, live and play in them so it isn't the fault of "things" in any way,
It is due to people being well, people. How do we change that?