I was raised in a much simpler time, the 40s and 50s. My father worked and my mother stayed home and cared for her children. Life was also safer then. As very young kids we went everywhere on our bicycles, never worrying about the problems we face today. There was right and there was wrong. It was very clear. No nuance. There was very little gray area. On those occasions when we broke the rules, there was sure and certain punishment. Perhaps some of the problems of today existed then, but we never knew about them.
Maybe news just didn’t get out as quickly or as completely, but never the less we traversed life in a rather innocent fashion.
Today, just the electronic gadgets alone available to kids are astounding. Cell phones that take pictures and transmit them across the world in seconds. Do you remember Dick Tracy and his two-way wrist radio? Back then, I thought that would be impossible. We were one of the lucky families who had a phone. It was a party line, but it was a phone. I continue to be amazed by what is available today. The new toys and gadgets at times seem surreal.
As amazing as it all is however, my grandchildren think I live in the dark ages. You see, my cell phone doesn’t take pictures and I don’t text. How terrible is that? Mine is not an iPhone or a smart phone. It doesn’t show movies or TV shows. It doesn’t store music. It is not online. In fact, it is just a phone. To me that is amazing enough. To think that I can zip through space at 70 mph in my car and talk in real time with someone in another part of the world is almost more than I can comprehend.
The world is changing for all of us. Right and wrong seem to be changing also. What was once shameful and illegal is now looked at differently. I watched in amazement recently at the attempted deification of a self-destructive junkie who happened to be a singer and just before that the same attempt of another self-destructive so-called entertainer who could not accept his skin color or his facial features. To me, he was just another junkie who couldn’t face his life without drugs. The celebration of these individuals wouldn’t have happened just a few years ago. Both of them died very young and it was probably because of their excesses. There were many before them and there will be more. Is this what we have become? Is this to be the new normal? Without doubt this world is passing me by.
When my heroes die they will probably not be feted or deified in the national news. They will be mourned by their families and friends, but their deaths will not make the news. My heroes are the military men and women fighting to insure my freedom. They are the police officers and firefighters who face danger on a daily basis to protect my family and me. My heroes don’t medicate themselves in order to face their lives. They instead go about their business in the body they were given and with the mind they have. My heroes are the researchers and inventors who continue to provide the world with new medicines and gadgets that improve our lives.
There is no doubt my world is better because of new innovations. Many, though, I think I could live without. For sure, this world is passing me by.