Sometimes we hear conversations where the topic is how our world has changed . . . never would any from our generation have ever thought to take a gun to school, much less use it there. Never did we dare talk back to dad or mom . . . either way we dealt with dad. We would have never entered another person’s home (whether under construction or not) and take things that didn’t belong to us.
Today’s world seems much different. Why? Probably because when we were young and growing up there were morals and values distilled in us by our parents, grandparents, or anyone else who would qualify as being older than us.
We remember sitting together with our family and eating breakfast – every day – whether we had school, or not; whether we were off to church, or not; or if we had plans with friends, or not – we always sat at the table with our family for breakfast. When we were home for summer vacation we ALWAYS sat down at the dinner table for a meal with our family. Nearly everyday, the rest of the year, we sat down at a specific time to eat a meal with our family in the evening; some called this meal dinner, our family called it supper.
We ALWAYS said a prayer before EVERY meal, and every night before we went to sleep. We weren’t allowed a whole lot of television time before our homework was done – yep, we had homework – almost every day when school was in session.
We were given rules we had to live by. We were told when to be home; if we were late, we didn’t leave the yard for at least a week. We were expected to tell our parents where we were going when we left the house, who we’d be with, and what we were going to do.
If we ever got in trouble . . . of any sort, we knew we’d be dealing with one or both of our parents in answering for our actions. Yes, we were spanked. Mom didn’t have to do a lot of it, dad usually had the duty, but mom wasn’t afraid to raise her hand to our rear when it was necessary. We didn’t dare smoke cigarettes or drink alcohol because we knew we’d be in trouble if we did.
If we went out to eat at a restaurant with our family we didn’t dare leave our chair, or raise our voice. We knew better than to scream or run around the room because mom and dad would have never put up with it – why is today so different? We (our better half and ourself) went out to eat the other day while we were doing some shopping, and got stuck next to a table with three kids and three adults . . . the kids screamed the whole time we were there and the parents never said a word.
With all of that we learned to respect our parents . . . and anyone else who we considered an adult. That respect was there for our family and friends as well.
It’s true, we lived in a simpler time. There weren’t as many illegal drugs as there are today. Things that weren’t good for us, morally or otherwise, weren’t as easy to get our hands on as they are today. We’ll call this social decay . . . for lack of a better term. How did it happen? What follows might give you some answers.
The other day someone at a store in a small town read that a methamphetamine lab had been found in an old farm house in the adjoining county, and he asked me a rhetorical question, “Why didn’t we have a drug problem when you and I were growing up?”
I responded that we did have a drug problem when we were kids growing up on the farm or in the city. I had a drug problem when I was young:
I was drug to church on Sunday morning.
I was drug to church for weddings and funerals.
I was drug to family reunions and community socials no matter what the weather.
I was drug by my ears when I was disrespectful to adults.
I was also drug to the woodshed when I disobeyed my parents, told a lie, brought home a bad report card, did not speak with respect, spoke ill of the teacher or preacher, or if I didn’t put forth my best effort in everything that was asked of me.
I was drug to the kitchen sink if I uttered a profane four letter word. (I know what lye soap tastes like.)
I was drug out to pull weeds in Mom’s garden and flower beds and cockleburs out of Dad’s fields.
I was drug to the homes of family, friends and neighbors to help out some poor soul who had no one to mow the yard, repair the clothesline or chop some fire wood, and if my mother had even known that I took a single dime as a tip for this kindness, she would have drug me back to the woodshed.
Those drugs are still in my veins; and they affect my behavior in everything I do, say, and think. They are stronger than cocaine, crack or heroin, and if today’s children had this kind of drug problem, America might be a better place today. If you have children who don’t seem to behave, give this piece some thought . . . if YOU don’t give them a “drug” problem, there’s a good chance they’ll find one of their own.
Have A Good Week!