This I Believe

Michael - Bardstown, Kentucky
Entered on February 14, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: carpe diem
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“Where have all the good times gone?” This lyric from a popular Kinks song, often describes how I feel about our culture. These days, no one takes the time to sit and have a family dinner or gather with family and friends to enjoy time together. Our fast paced way of life has destroyed the good times. What happened to the good old days?

I’ll tell you what happened, fast food promoted an even faster lifestyle. It is so easy to swing through a burger joint on your way to practice or home from work. Everyone is involved in so much that it is nearly impossible to sit down and enjoy time with your loved ones. If you have to stay after school for student council and then go to soccer practice or if you have to work late, why take the time out of your busy day to cook or play cards with family? Wouldn’t it be easier to get an instant meal from McDonalds?

I remember, when I was younger, taking my place at the table, fielding questions about school, laughing at my father, and shoveling pork chops and Mac n’ cheese down into my stomach. After dinner, I would take out the trash, while my parents did the dishes and cleaned the kitchen. Then, we would scurry off to the living room and watch the hit family sitcom of the day or play a game of spades. We would laugh and smile the night away. Everyday a different show, every night a different adventure, oh, those truly were the days.

I believe that our overly rapid and extremely hasty lifestyles have destroyed the fabric of the American family. Today, there are so many things that distract us and take us away from our close family ties. Past values and forms of entertainment have become obsolete. The MTV generation gave birth to the “right now, right away, high demand” generation. In today’s world it is all about, “How fast can I get it or how long does it take?” There is virtually no time to play a board game or just relax. Perhaps we should take a societal “chill pill” or at least take a deep breath every once in a while.

I feel that we are not enjoying our lives enough. We only have one life to live and one family to spend time with. Why rush it all away? I think we should all take at least thirty minutes everyday to do something for ourselves or have a laugh with your family. Ferris Bueller once said, “life is too fast, if you don’t stop to look around every once in a while, you might just miss it.”

I believe in taking things leisurely, soaking up all that I can out of every moment. Tomorrow is never guaranteed. We should treat all twenty-four hours of the day like they are our last. So before you’re in your final hour, spend some time eating dinner with your family or take 30 minutes to watch a sitcom. You may live life in the fast lane, but every now and then take a slow ride, crank the radio, and let the good times roll.