This I Believe

Lacey - Brandon, Florida
Entered on September 5, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

This I Believe

This I believe is a blind generation. Everyday millions of people lend a hand to help someone less fortunate, someone in need. Millions of dollars are given every year to charities that help children, homeless, sick, and elderly around the world. Yet still I can say that my generation is blind. We are blind to our ancestors and the beauty of history that forms our past.

Today’s world is empty of class and elegance it held not so very long ago. I believe that the 1940’s generation had it all. They had role models such as Judy Garland and Humphrey Bogart in the theatres, no Paris Hilton or Kevin Federline. These figures could turn a black and white movie, called “boring” by those my age, into a masterpiece that is forever timeless. Magic had to happen on the screen between the actors and artists including Elizabeth Taylor, Montgomery Clift and Vivien Leigh. Computerized special effects could not rule the screen as they do now. These animations did not exist yet the media did, as did the public demand for originality. The storyline was crucial and the actors had to perform perfectly, otherwise the movie would fail. Failure was a much greater risk in those days. It held a stronger moral downfall than anyone would give it today. Failure now is looked at in money lost, but then was seen as a vision destroyed; a dead dream; a humiliating experience.

The souls of the 1940’s did not measure much in terms of money. A penny was a lot of money then, actually worth picking up on the side of the road. Financing too was a large part of the family struggle, but money and wealth did not determine happiness. In fact I would argue that the families that had a harder time of making ends meet, laughed more. Kids back then used their imaginations and invented wonderful games such as “stick ball” to keep themselves busy and happy. That was another thing; they played, sometimes in the streets, all afternoon. Children were not obsessed with video games or the computer they just wanted to be outside. They came home when dusk arrived and showed proper respect to all elders, not just their own parents. Teenagers back then did not worry about brand names on their clothes or how many myspace friends they had. All of this pettiness has been created in the absence of this magic. We have made our society what it is.

More than just on a family level, we, as a unified nation, have changed and become blind. After Pearl Harbor the nation banded together to get the United States Navy back up and running in a shorter time than ever imagined. Teenage boys lied about their age to join the armed forces to avenge their country. This country was just flat out angry. Men, women, and children joined the war effort and recognized the cause. Everyone wanted the world to know that the United States was a force to be reckoned with; it was a war winning, tough fighting, spirited Nation, Under God. Not exactly the same response received after a present day attack. The attack of the World Trade Center scared this generation’s teenage boys and girls from joining the war effort. After all, why should they have to die? There is always someone else out there willing to do the job, right? Wrong. This is our Nation now and we have to protect it.

This is what I believe. I believe we live in a blind society, a blind generation, a blind Nation. We have eyes yet we do not see. We face the problems of today because we have decided that our “progress” through the ages has all been a positive step forward. Yet I believe that we should all take a step back and admire our yesterdays. Yesterday seems like a magical place because it is; it is a place you only can be in once. So my perspective is, live it with the same class and elegance as was done in the 1940’s, for that is truly timeless.