In My Day…

I’m old! No, I didn’t just discover that…my body has been saying so for quite some time, but it’s starting to hit home. Part of that may be because it’s the 50th anniversary of walking on the moon. The same year I joined the Air Force. So, yes…I’m old. My mind hasn’t quite caught up to my body, so I still act like a five-year old most of the time. That’s a good thing, right? But now, when I see some of the stuff going on today, I realize how old I must be.

For instance. When I was a kid, if we got a hole in our jeans, my mom would bring out the patches, the iron, and get to work fixing it. Heaven forbid we go outside in raggedy jeans. Nowadays? They sell jeans with holes in them. No, I’m not talking about one of the thrift stores, because I saw a pair for sale the other day that cost almost as much as my first car. When did clothes with holes in them become fashionable? We were eating at Freddy’s the other day, and I saw a half dozen women wearing stuff that years ago would have gone in the rag pile. I miss the concept. You wouldn’t buy a new car with a hole in the windshield, or buy a blouse with a seam ripped out, so why do people spend a bunch of money on new jeans with holes?

In San Antonio, like most major cities, the latest fad is scooters. They’ve taken over the town. Literally. At least once a week there’s an article in the paper about how scooters are intruding on our lives. People use them, then just leave them wherever, so you can drive down almost any street and find an abandoned scooter. People in wheelchairs/scooters are especially challenged and known to knock them over just so they can get down the sidewalk. Walking downtown has become a challenge, because you’re either dodging someone on a scooter or swerving around to avoid stepping on one. Really? Why do you need a scooter to sightsee? Isn’t that why God gave us feet?

Another thing really bugging me is how common it is to call someone a racist. If you disagree with a person of color, it can’t possibly be because you simply have a difference of opinion. It can only be because you’re racist. That word is thrown around so freely nowadays, it’s disheartening. Real racism is when you see two drinking fountains, one for “colored” and one for “white” people. That’s racism I lived through and thank God you don’t see that anymore. Back then, if you called someone a racist, it was because they were, not because it was fashionable to call them one. We need to stop throwing that word around. It dilutes from those who really are.

Some say the “good old days” weren’t all that great, and parts of them certainly weren’t. But one thing today’s producers must appreciate is television shows from years ago. Every time we turn around, they’re bringing back some show that used to be on years ago. Updated, but the same show, nonetheless. Disney is doing that with some of my favorite movies. Beauty and the Beast, Lion King, etc. are live action now. I watched Beauty and…nope. Not a big fan. It’s so much more comical when it’s animated. Brings to mind the old saying…If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! How difficult is it for Hollywood to come up with new ideas instead of recycling old ones?

I’ve mentioned this before, but it bears repeating. In the old days, when a family ate dinner or went to a restaurant, it was to spend time together and catch up on each other’s lives. How was school today? Good job on that promotion. What do you want to do this weekend? Stuff like that. Things that connect and glue a family together. Lately it seems the only connecting going on is through a cell phone connection. You can look around any restaurant and you’ll see at least one table, and normally a whole lot more, where people are texting, playing games, answering phone calls, etc. In some cases, their child will be sitting there, idly swinging their feet and looking around the restaurant, probably feeling totally neglected. Please put the phone down and communicate with each other. Years from now, you’ll wish you had.

Life used to be a lot slower than it is now. Usually the dad worked, the mom stayed home with the kids, and it seemed like most people lived a Leave it to Beaver life. Evenings would be spent on the front porch, talking to the neighbors and watching the kids play tag or catch fireflies. Nowadays, both parents usually work, and evenings are spent doing homework, watching TV, playing video games, or cleaning the house. Getting ready for the next day, when the rat race starts all over again. Not much we can do about the changing dynamics of a two-income family, but we should be able to strike some sort of happy medium. It would behoove all of us to make enough time in our lives to connect with each other and relax. In some ways, America is a heart attack waiting to happen.

Do I want to go back to the good old days? Nope. I love my microwave, cable TV, computer, and most other inventions we didn’t have when I was a kid. But I do miss the civility. If you were bullied, it was in school and not on Facebook or Twitter. And bullying was normally limited to the young. Nowadays, no matter your age, you probably find yourself being careful of what you say online, lest you find yourself the latest target of someone’s venom. People are so much quicker to say nasty stuff online…things they wouldn’t dream about saying to your face.

I sometimes wonder if God looks down on all this, rolls His eyes and shakes His head. I’ve heard the expression before that “God’s only law is love.” If true, that’s something we could all use a little more of, don’t you think? Here’s a project for you. Think back on your own life. Find the one thing someone did that made you feel special and do that for someone else. We can’t go back to the “good old days” but we can incorporate parts of it into our daily lives. One small step for mankind shouldn’t be limited to just walking on the moon.

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