What I believe…or maybe…what do I STILL believe?
Times are hard. Or are they? Are we incredibly spoiled?
I talk to my Grandma. She says she had very little growing up. Her father was a highway patrolman; her mother, a housewife. Her family had all of the “basics”, including furniture, dishes, and a piano. She wasn’t in sports, for there were no sports for girls. She was involved in Jobe’s daughters and with groups that were promoting the greater good. There were no dance classes available.
Times were simple. The crime rate was low. The speed limit was high. There was no city police and only the Sheriff reported in daily. Everyone knew everyone else. Cars stopped for funeral processions and when you heard a siren? You knew it was something bad. Families would eat together, every night, at the same time. They would have home cooked meals and talk to each other.
My mom’s childhood involved more commercialism. She had a Barbie Dream House, a pool, about 10 channels on cable TV, and a VCR. You still knew everyone and everyone knew you. Her parents both worked and were employed by themselves. She was involved in “some” sports and cheer.
The crime rate was rising. The speed limit went down for years and years due to the energy vehicles were using. There was still one Sheriff but gradually, throughout her childhood, this department got bigger and our small town added a department of their own. The jail was on the fourth floor of the courthouse, but this too changed due to safety concerns for the prisoners.
Her first computer experience was in high school. “It was amazing” she says. It was a one unit, Tandy Brand computer. It did very, very little compared to technology today. It was more like a fancy typewriter.
Then I look at my childhood. I had everything I could have possibly wanted or needed. I had toys and if I didn’t have a particular toy? I would ask for it. My parents both worked and had to in order to afford what we needed – or more so – wanted.
Times grew more complicated, in comparison to my grandma’s childhood. Costs of merchandise continue to go up and up and up. Once one product is priced affordable, they would make a superior one, making people always expect – not only better – but more.
Today, I think about everything my grandma and my mom tell me about the past. It’s all about “more” for my generation.
You can’t go a day without sirens. The paper reports several criminal acts weekly in the paper; from people wanting “more”. The divorce rate is huge and families are spread thin. Many children are involved in one to ten different activities throughout the year. Did you know some even pay their child a dollar for every basket their child makes during their little league basketball game?
Computers have made the world very small. Instantly, you can order something from another country. You can look up the meaning of anything on the Internet. You can text your friends and even though we don’t know everyone these days…we know “more” about the people we do know.
They say things are tough right now. Many are losing jobs and many are losing their homes. Maybe we are finally being forced to let things cool down? Maybe we went too fast? Or maybe we just wanted too much “more”.
People are depressed. They are in financial distress and have no way out. They can’t buy “more”. Perhaps they need something less conventional (for today) to believe in…besides “more“?
I was raised to stop and smell the roses. To appreciate, to thank, and to say please. I’m exposed to how life is for other children in other countries and personally, I feel as if I have the world by the hand. I live in a country where I get to be whatever I want to be – but understand I have to work for it. I’m healthy and I have a healthy family who I love. If I could have “more” of anything, it would be “more” time to spend with them.
People are spoiled, but they are spoiled by the wrong things. The important things “I believe” are essential in life are still available in society today and always have been. The important things do not cause stress in life. The important things are responsible for happiness and peace of mind – values, appreciation, respect, please, and thank you. Love, honor, family, health and maybe a smile or two. In this, I (still) believe and can only hope that people, in today‘s troubled times, can believe in this too.