May 8th I turned 61 years young. Reflecting back upon those years I felt sadness, happiness and wonder all at the same time. I have seen a lot of changes in the world good and bad. I felt sadness because of the people I hurt and those who left the world too soon, happiness for the old times and wonder for what the future holds in this fast paced world infested with so much hate and crime.
I lived in an era when you could walk the St. Louis streets at 1am in the morning without fear of getting mugged. Life was simple. I remember when the “Golden Arches” started selling fast food. I don’t remember there being an obesity problem caused by their cuisine in those days. We played hard and exercised daily and didn’t sit in front of the TV playing video games. We watched violent cartoons and didn’t go out into the world and practice the art of murder. We were taught respect and that hard work paid off and it was a way of life. We knew what it was like to lose and were taught that winning wasn’t everything and that it wasn’t a bad thing. We learned to work harder to become a winner. Not everyone made the cut for the baseball, basketball or football team. We respected our parents because they earned it. We took family vacations and spent time together. There were no cell phones and I can remember the old rotary phone and the dreadful “party line”. We said things like “yes sir/ma’am” and “no sir/no ma’am. We rode in the back of a pick-up truck and never used a seatbelt. Life seemed to move at a slower pace and life was good. How the hell did we survive? A miracle that I made it to 61.
The world today seems so much more complicated and moves so fast. Kids have their own computers, cell phones and everyone wins. Most of them have no idea what respect is and parents seem to have forgotten to teach it. I heard someone once say “I just want my children to have more than I did”. Really? I don’t think my generation turned out so bad and most of us did without a lot of things. We were taught the value of a dollar and we heard the word “no” several times. We got our hind ends busted when we did something wrong and schools didn’t spare the paddle. According to all the children behavior specialists of today we should have never been successful and should have a plethora of behavioral and anxiety problems.
I am by far no expert of the behavior of children or a psychology major and don’t pretend to be. All I know is that I don’t really feel that my generation did all that bad. When we left the nest I think we were better prepared for what the world was going to throw at us. For the most part we weren’t spoiled and we knew how to make it through the hard times. We knew how to handle rejection because we didn’t always win. We know what respect is because we were taught how to respect.
Reflecting back today I thought about what life might have been like with all the luxuries that children enjoy today. Everyone is a winner and never having to experience a “party line”. It was the scariest 15 seconds of my life. It didn’t take me long to realize that I feel blessed that I got to experience my childhood when life was simple and moved at a slower pace. Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed the ramblings of an old farrier.
Me and Kate my ride dog! Me and Nick our new pup!