Thursday, December 29, 2011

I Think Congratulations are in Order is for those of you born in the 1930's, 40's, 50's and even the 1960's. Congrats! Why? Because you will have a right to be a little smug as I have you reflect on those innocent years with their not so terrible consquences that made us what we are today.

First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they carried us and lived in houses with no air conditioning. They took aspirin, ate soft cheeses, raw egg products, loads of bacon and processed meat, tuna from a can and fish caught by their husbands. And our mothers didn't have to go to work to help dad make ends meet and enjoyed "housekeeping".

Then after that risky pregnancy business, our baby cots were covered with bright coloured lead-based paints. We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets. When riding our bikes we had no helmets and many times no shoes. Back then we didn't need to worry about hitchhiking either. We would also ride in the family car with no seat belts or air bags.

We drank water from the garden hose and not from a plastic bottle and we shared a drink with four friends from a soda bottle without getting sick. Our mother cooked all the meals as take-away food was limited to fish and chips. There were no Pizza shops, McDonalds, KFC, Subway or Nandos. And even though all the shops closed a 6:00pm and didn't open on Sundays, somehow we didn't starve to death!

We ate biscuits, white bread with real butter and had sugary drinks but 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 the street lights came on the folks were happy. No one was able to reach us all day and we seemed better for it. We never were house-bound by Playstations, Nintendo Wiis, X-boxes or video games but by rainy days and couldn't wait to go out. We had friends and we went outside and found them.

We fell out of trees and off of monkey bars, got cut, broke bones and even teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents. It was "Grin & Bear It". The boys were given air or BB guns on their 10th birthday and later on were much appreciated in the armed services for their marksmanship and at the same age ONLY girls got their ears pierced.

The Way I See those days the Rugby, Football, Cricket and/or the Baseball try outs were tough on those that didn't make the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with the disappointment, because we all knew then that getting onto the team was based on Merit. We got toughened up when our teachers smacked us with a ruler for being inattentive, stood us in a corner or sent us to the principle's office for the cane. Through all of this our self-esteem was bruised maybe, but never crushed by being shown how to behave responsibly.

And finally...the idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the Law! All in all...we had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all! Congratulations to you....the Older Generations!

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