By Paul Big Bear
Do you ever take a moment to reflect upon the years gone by, back to your youth? I do, I think about things we (my age group) did on a regular basis without thinking about what we were doing. We played outside all day, our parents had no way to reach out to us other than to yell our names or call a neighbors house to see if anyone had seen us. We knew to come home for lunch by the sun overhead (or the grumble in our stomachs). We rode our bikes without special equipment, helmets or knee and elbow pads; about the only safety equipment we wore was a pants clip to keep our pant cuff from getting caught in the chain. On a hot day we drank water from a garden hose and the only concern was to let the water run for a bit so you didn’t burn your mouth. We played; Cowboys and Indians, Cops and Robbers, Army, running through the neighborhood firing our cap pistols and air rifles at each other. We were having fun. We watched The Three Stooges, Road Runner, Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd, and Popeye The Sailorman, we never thought we could eat spinach and become invincible (honestly most of us didn’t eat spinach at all) we never poked each other in the eyes or used scissors to grab a friend by the nose, we never considered going Wabbit Hunting, and certainly never even tried to order anything from Acme Mail Order. We ate pancakes and waffles with Land O Lake butter and Aunt Jemima syrup. We read the exploits of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. We showed respect for adults and would never even consider hitting a girl (although honestly sisters were occasionally tempting). Those were the days and to my knowledge we turned out pretty well as we grew into adulthood.
Fast forward to a new century and a new generation of youth and how different things are, children are now on leashes called cell phones, amazingly children can be called or even tracked via one of these devices in seconds but the chances are they are in their bedrooms playing on these very devices or another version; computer, notepad, etc.. They drink bottled water and fast food – pizza, how many eat a meal at a table with the family where their daily activities are discussed? Amazingly we fear for their well being at levels never reached before. Parents went through “growing pains” as we were growing they pained as we left home for; summer camp, college, or the military. Those who spent time in the military and were sent into action evoked true worry. Today parents worry that things like syrup named Aunt Jemima or reading a book by Dr Seuss about a “Cat In The Hat” might harm our fragile psyches. Playing with a creative toy that we put together in different guises called “Mr. Potato Head” will somehow affect our understanding of gender. Yes protecting our young is so much more complicated today in a world where playing with what in the past were considered boy/girl appropriate toys and activities are deemed disastrous when it is far more important to consider sex change operations for three year olds, public rest rooms for anyone who feels gender accepted, sports open to participation by a mix of self chosen gender accepted players, and drag queens reading to elementary students about sex, and other adult child interaction I will hold for another day.
I will leave you with this thought; when I was young there was a fire in the house next door and a baby perished. We had no grief councilors, the only thing we had were; parents who listened and comforted, church and the comfort of our beliefs, and I remember one teacher who later posed the following. When a person dies young we will never know what they might have accomplished in life, they will not have the opportunity to invent, build, write, or heal. Those of you living today with a future ahead of you, what will you aspire to? I learned the joy of life, the promise of life, most important the value of life. What message are we sending when we speak of abortion with the same emotion as we would the removal of an impacted wisdom tooth.