Not sure how much more of this I can take. But I think I’m about to find out.
Ok, admittedly it was a different time when I was growing up. In the forties and fifties we didn’t have much first-hand information about disrespect, but we knew a lot about “respect”.
I’ll start with the flag, you know the one, stars and stripes, red white and blue. Remember when we stood up when the Star Spangled Banner was played at the games? No one told us, we just did it. (Hand over heart and facing the flag..) Now, the young folks are tired of it. Let’s toss it out they say..and get something groovy....good grief!
Remember when “taking a knee”, (a phrase we’d never heard), may have accompanied a prayer? How about, “stand on your own two feet” and “make a difference” for something worthwhile.
Remember when you were told to address the friends of your parents by Mr. and Mrs.? In my home, my Dad said “We don’t call the doctor “Doc”. He has trained to be a doctor and we will show him respect by calling him “Dr. Jones”.” Our teachers were also spoken of as Mr. and Mrs..maybe Miss..and never “old man or old lady..so and so”....at least that’s the way it was in our house. Teachers were to be an example to the children they were in charge of for several hours each day, nine months of the year. No wearing sloppy clothes, sitting on the desk to teach and preaching who knows what..
I recall visiting the local high school one day during “change of classes” time. The young folks were going this way and that, running into each other and cramming the hallway. Remember when we were instructed to always walk on the “right side” of the hallway? (No traffic jams there.) It was a simple yet effective way of managing the change of classes. Kind of like driving down the highway...keep to the right. It’s safer that way. (Hmm..never thought of that.)
Remember the words “table manners”? Don’t wear a hat to the table. Pass the food to the older person at the table first, or to a guest. If you don’t care for the dish that’s passed to you, the response is “no, thank you”...not...”I don’t like that”. When you were ready to leave the table you asked to be excused. .. Like this...”May I be excused?”..Of course, that was when families actually sat down to the evening meal together.
I admit, times have changed. Boy, have they changed.
Laws are meant to be obeyed. If you don’t like them, work toward having them changed. Everyone doesn’t think or believe the way you do. There’s room at the table, so to speak.
I was watching a commercial yesterday as a young girl is saying to her Mother, “I’m not going to eat that.”...Poor Mother, she must find something the dear child likes, so she buys macaroni and cheese in a package and the kid gobbles it up. When I was a child, (remember it was the forties and fifties), I was told, “If you don’t want to eat what’s on the table, you may be excused. Maybe you’ll be hungry again at the next meal.” No snacks in between, no dessert unless you eat what’s put before you first.
Oh my, it was certainly a time of cruelty.
And, what’s with this “protest” stuff? I’m mad because our town, our state, our country has done something I don’t like. I protest! Tear it down! Set it on fire! Throw paint on it! Start your own town! Throw stones at the police! Get rid of the police! Destroy businesses! Break their glass windows! Set police cars on fire! Scream the “f” word in everyone’s face.
There! That’ll fix ‘em.
If you aren’t old enough to vote, you may have to wait until your voice can be heard at the ballot box. That is, if “the box” is still used. There seems to be a difference of opinion at some state levels about circulating ballots through the mail. Oh yes! That’s a good one.
In case you haven’t noticed, much of what we need to learn begins at home. No, the kids don’t get to do everything they want. When we find ourselves saying, “My parents would never have put up with that.” Well...guess who the parents are now? That’s us. That’s you Mom and you Dad. Manners don’t drop out of the sky. Rules don’t come with your birth certificate. Choices are made by one person, you. Teach your kids that!
The cell phones don’t own us. At least, they aren’t supposed to own us. I sat in a restaurant one day, and watched two young folks highly engrossed in their phones, sitting across the table from one another but not acknowledging the presence of each other. Is that what you call going out for coffee, or a coke, or what?
When I was a kid, my favorite movies had actors like Roy Rogers, and Gene Autry...If there was violence, I never saw it. It’s a challenge today to find something on television that doesn’t contain violence or sex. The kids are watching it too, folks. Maybe we should pay more attention to what they’re doing with their time. How long has it been since your kids have heard, “go outside and play”....even the very little kids, as soon as they can sit up without help, are watching the television. I don’t know what Mom and Dad are doing, but they aren’t watching the kids.
Does anyone read to their young children anymore? You don’t have time, you say? Well find the time!
There............I think I feel better now. At least for the moment, I do.
But, I’ll be back..count on it.
Mary Anne Whitchurch Tuck
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