Saturday, August 19, 2006

Weekend Wrap-up August 19, 2006

Today's Weekend Wrap-up is about an e-mail that I received earlier this week. This actually is the third or fourth time that I got this e-mail (or something a lot like it), and while its message certainly makes me reminiscent of that earlier time, I'm always curious about something after I've read it. That observation will follow below:
Subject: TO ALL THE KIDS WHO WERE BORN IN THE 1930's 40's, 50's, 60's and 70's !!

First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they carried us. They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn't get tested for diabetes. Then after that trauma, our baby cribs were 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, not to mention, the risks we took hitchhiking.

As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags. Riding in the back of a pick up on a warm day was always a special treat. 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 actually died from this.
We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank soda pop with sugar in it, 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 streetlights came on. No one was able to reach us all day. And we were O.K. We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride 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 did not have Playstations, Nintendo's, X-boxes, no video games at all, no 99 channels on cable, no video tape movies, no surround sound, no cell phones, no personal computers, no Internet or Internet chat rooms..........WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were nolawsuits from these accidents. We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever. 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 yelled for them! Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!! The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law!

This generation has 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! And YOU are one of them! CONGRATULATIONS!

You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids, before the lawyers and the government regulated our lives for our own good. And while you are at it, forward it to your kids so they will know how brave their parents were.
Kind of makes you want to run through the house with scissors, doesn't it?!

Now look at that line that says, "...before the lawyers and the government regulated our lives for our own good." You know what generation of lawyers and government MADE those laws that 'regulated our lives for our own good'? The very generation that is being spoken of so wistfully in the e-mail above! So it begs the question: If their childhood was so wonderful, why are they so bound and determined to deny those very freedoms to today's children?

Either their own childhoods weren't as rosy as painted above, or they aspire to be petty tyrants that want to deny everyone else the fun that they themselves enjoyed. Let's explore this a little more. The generation being spoken of here is mostly baby boomers (BBs from here on). Consider the timeframe when many of these BBs grew up. We're talking mostly the 60's, 70's, and 80s.

So what went on in those decades? In short: "free love" "open marriages" "experimental" drug use, "quickie" and "no-fault" divorces, among other things. Other things that, in essence, allowed BBs to continue the free and unregulated childhoods into adulthood. But our lives in childhood can't continue into adulthood. At some point, we must grow up. The BBs' usual response to that: "No, we don't."

And BBs continued to not grow up, and lived their free, unregulated lives with the bills for that free living being paid by their children now, and later, their grandchildren. Their desire for their freedom and to keep having their fun at everyone else's expense extends not only to denying fun to later generations, but also denying the existence of some of those later generations - namely, through legalized abortions. While some of those who have had abortions did so because of "dire circumstances", many had them because these people simply wanted to bail out of their responsibilities; in other words, they didn't want to stop having their fun.

I can already see some of my regular readers shaking their heads in disagreement. :-)

But what I say here is based what I have seen for myself. Very few people I know are still in their first marriage. Many are in their second marriage or more, and they have had kids from different spouses. Understand that I'm not at all saying that a person should stay in a bad marriage (the usual response to bringing up this particular point), but that a person needs to be more patient and selective when it comes to deciding whom they will choose to marry.

You have your fun before marriage and before you have kids. Once you're married, you take care of your marriage, and of any children that follow. Then you fit in the fun where you can. Having fun can't come at the expense of your marriage, and it certainly can't come at the expense of your kids. It's been tried ad nauseum these past few decades, and it's been proven over and over again that this concept of "fun before responsibility" is a grand and colossal failure. The longer we keep denying that, the more that our kids and our grandkids will pay for our stubbornness.

While it's certainly pleasing to think about the old days, it's now way past time to grow up, folks, and leave the funtime to our kids - where it belongs. We need to grow up before our great-grandkids start paying for our stubbornness.

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