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Disappearing Good Old Days
"The Trees that are Slow to grow bear the best fruit." Moliere
The Good Old Days
As I sit typing this article, the feeling hits me; there is very little left in this world that reminds us of the Good Old Days, save for the historical remnants and documents sitting in museums or buried in family attics. I am not merely talking about the days when humanity had no electricity or indoor plumbing, but also the more recent days of the later half of the 20th and 21st centuries. Humanity did not have all the social and other obligations or projects that we have now. They certainly did not have the massive amount of technology that we are overwhelmed with in this day and age either. Cell phones were barely cell phones and computers were not fully portable yet. The familial dinner table was still where the family gathered to discuss the events of the day. Granted the kids would probably scoot off to play the Nintendo or computer or perhaps watch tv after dinner, but things were much simpler. Moms actually had more time to socialize with their children than just being in the car taking them from soccer to basketball and then to ballet and homework. Families could actually enjoy sitting watching tv with each other without parents having to worry to much about the kids.
TV is just one of the areas that has become rather boring through the years. From the 1980s to the 2000s, television shows have become more violent, sexually explicit or just plain dirty in general. For instance, after cruising through the regular local and satellite/cable channels, I found that there was nothing of interest on from the hours of 7 to 9pm. Before and after this time period you have your news and late night talk shows. Whatever happened to a simple, wholesome tv show or even the Saturday morning cartoons. Cartoons have even slipped significantly, descending from the highest peak of Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck to the extremely crude American Dad, Family Guy, and South Park. If the tv is not bad enough, there are plenty of other shows being streamed on sites like Hulu, Netflix or Youtube that would make one conservative parent hide in horror. And it does not stop with tv, for all the new electronic gadgetry that is available, it is to much to keep up with. I have simple cell phone, one that some would classify as a fossil, but it does the job it is supposed to. Even children as young as 5 are being given cell phones. The technology is not helping our socialization skills. They have taken us beyond the days of letter writing and phone calling. Now it is all texting and abbreviations that make no sense. They even have text messaging dictionaries for the texting challenged
So, after all this bad and scary stuff, how can we go back? Well, we can't metaphorically go back to the good old days, but we can apply some of the principles that survive in the dark recesses of the closet or attic. The first thing that humanity MUST do is simplify our lives. Leave the job/work at the office and forget about the sports for one night and have a family dinner together. It will help save familial relationships and reconnect distant members who barely look up from their text messaging. The second thing is to leave the cell phones at home when you go out on family outings. Unless you are running a 4,000 cow/calf operation and the cows are going to be having babies, leave them at home. Trust me, YOU WILL SURVIVE. And lastly, we must all try to limit our reliance on technology. Yes, it has given us wonderful things and opened the information highway extremely wide, but there is a limit to how much of this we actually need. I speak from experience, living out in an area that has limited Internet availability and when it goes down, who knows how long it may be until it comes back. We do not need to be checking our Facebook pages every two seconds. If we can limit and simplify our lives, we might be able to find a more harmonious balance to life.