"I can't believe it I made it as a child of the fifties!"
My baby picture
I can't believe you made it if you lived as a child in the 40's, 50's, 60's or 70's. Looking back, it's hard to believe that we have lived as long as we have:
As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags. Riding in the back of a pickup truck on a warm day was always a special treat.
Our baby cribs were covered with bright colored lead based paint. We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors, or cabinets, and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets. (Not to mention hitchhiking to town as a young kid!)
We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle. Horrors!
We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then rode down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times we learned to solve the problem.
We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on or it was almost too dark to see. No one was able to reach us all day. Our parents knew that all the neighbors would watch out for all the kids. No cell phones. Unthinkable!
We played dodge ball and sometimes the ball would really hurt. We got cut and broke bones and broke teeth, and there were no lawsuits from these accidents. They were accidents. No one was to blame, but us. Remember accidents?
We had fights and punched each other and got black and blue and learned to get over it.
We ate cupcakes, bread and butter, and drank sugar soda but we were never overweight. We were always outside playing. We shared one grape soda with four friends, from one bottle and no one died from this.
We did not have Playstations, Nintendo 64, Sega, Game Cubes, X-Boxes, video games at all, 99 channels on cable, video tape movies, surround sound, personal cell phones, Personal Computers, Internet chat rooms… we had friends. We went outside and found them.
We rode bikes or walked to a friend's home and knocked on the door, or rung the bell or just walked in and talked to them. Imagine such a thing. Without asking a parent! By ourselves! Out there in the cold cruel world without a guardian. How did we do it?
We made up games with sticks and tennis balls and ate worms and although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes, nor did the worms live inside us forever.
Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't, had to learn to deal with disappointment. The teams actually kept score and the winning team was allowed to be excited and the losing team learned to be good sports about it and learned that, in life sometimes you win and sometimes you lose.
Some students weren't as smart as others so they failed a grade and were held back to repeat the same grade. Horrors! Tests were not adjusted for any reason. Almost no one went to "preschool" and when we graduated high school we all knew how to read, use proper grammar and do basic math. We all learned how to count out change without a calculator to tell us the amount. The worst problems in school were tardiness and chewing gum in class.
Our actions were our own. Consequences were expected. No one to hide behind. The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke a law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law, imagine that!
If you misbehaved - your parents spanked you and no one arrested them for doing that! We also learned that when a parent said "No" - they actually meant that and our lives would not be ruined forever by being denied every little thing we wanted at any given moment. New toys were received on birthdays and holidays, not on every trip to the store. Parents gave us gifts out of love.... not out of guilt.
This generation has produced some of the best risk takers and problem solvers and inventors, ever. The past 50 years has been an explosion of innovation and new ideas. We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all. And if you're one of them. Congratulations!
Please pass this on to others who have had the luck to grow up as kids, before lawyers and government regulated our lives, for our own good.