I was born in the mid 1950”s, into the normal, mundane, day-to-day living that was THE NORM in those days.
We had no cell phones, no TV, no Xbox, no DVDs, no iPads or iPods, no Kindle – actually we had nothing but the normal toys that kids used to love back then. Matchbox cars to play in the sand with, normal dolls that did not have wardrobes, cars and houses to go with them. And then we only received them on birthdays and at Christmas. How times have changed. At least I now have a Kindle.
We had curfews – in bed and lights out by 8.30 on weekdays and maybe we would be allowed to go to a party on the weekend. Curfew then was midnight. And mom or dad or older brother picked us up. And before going to a party there was a whole interrogation of who, where, what, etc.
At school, we listened to our teachers and allowed them to teach us. We were eager to learn. We had all the books we needed at our public school. We rode the bus to school and back. We participated in sport, which was a huge part in the curriculum of most schools and were proud to be awarded school colours or provincial colours. We received prizes for the best spelling, the best written composition. How times have changed.
During my school days, I cannot recall one instance of a teenage girl at my school falling pregnant. There was no payment as an encouragement for having an illegitimate child. We knew that the punishment for falling pregnant in school was expulsion. So the question of when a teenage mother should be allowed to return to school and continue her education never arose. And we were not provided with free condoms. Admittedly there was some clandestine smoking behind the toilets. But only of cigarettes. How times have changed.
We could all write and spell properly, we knew how to punctuate a sentence – and we could string together an eloquent sentence. Sometimes more than one.
We were taught by our parents that if we got into trouble in the street, ask a policeman to help you.
We slept with our windows open, we had no burglar bars or electric fences or eight foot walls around our property. We could drive through the streets with our car windows open and enjoy the fresh air.
How times have changed.
We grew up respecting our parents, and they let us grow up with respect. We respected our siblings, even though there were the usual fights over who got more cream on their pudding, or who got the crust on the bread.
We respected our teachers and our doctors and, and relied on them for guidance and advice. After all, our parents had placed us in their care.
We respected our environment – not only “the” environment as in “Going Green”, but everything around us.
We were taught to respect all life – human, animal and plant – at all levels.
And the best thing that came out of learning all that respect, was that we grew up respecting ourselves.
Sadly, how times have truly changed.