Watching a child grow up is nothing short of a miracle.
When they are first born they are so very delicate and we must watch over them night and day to ensure no danger comes to them.
Then slowly the changes begin.
Their life becomes filled with so many firsts. Their first steps. Their first words. The first time they eat pizza. The first time they ride a bike.
Soon enough they’re running around, talking up a storm and challenging their parents’ authority.
The older they get the more they think their parents have lost touch with reality. They chuckle when parents don’t understand what a “tweet” is or that they think MP3 is a new band.
But despite the great changes in our world today and how fast things change our lives haven’t changed that much. I say that because each generation has to deal with pretty much the same issues that past generations have had to – family issues, social issues, environmental issues, health issues, political issues, all kinds of issues.
So while it may be true that many of our parents might not know much about the latest technology, they most certainly do know a lot about life as they have been there and done that.
Sometimes we should keep that in mind.
The other day I came across an article online that highlighted the differences between today’s generation and my parent’s generation and how life really is how you see it.
The Green Thing
In line at the store, the cashier told an older woman that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren’t good for the environment.
The woman apologized to him and explained, “We didn’t have the green thing back in my day.”
The clerk responded, “That’s our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment.”
He was right — our generation didn’t have the green thing in its day.
Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled.
But we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.
We walked up stairs, because we didn’t have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks.
But he was right. We didn’t have the green thing in our day.
Back then, we washed the baby’s diapers because we didn’t have the throwaway kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy-gobbling machine burning up 220 volts — wind and solar power really did dry the clothes. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing. But he is right; we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.
Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house — not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief, not a screen the size of the state of Montana.
In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn’t have electric machines to do everything for us.
When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used a wadded up old newspaper to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.
Back then, we didn’t fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn’t need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.
But he’s right; we didn’t have the green thing back then.
We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water.
We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.
But we didn’t have the green thing back then.
Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service.
We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn’t need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint.
But isn’t it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn’t have the green thing back then?