Skip to comments.The Erosion of American Lives
Posted on 02/21/2005 4:18:58 PM PST by joyce11111
The Erosion of American Lives
For all of us who are 50-years-old, or older, the world we lived in as children is completely gone. Nothing that exists resembles our lives, as youths, anymore. The greatest memories of my childhood revolved around my ability to wander. I walked, as a child, for miles and miles and miles, every day. I walked to woods, to creeks and streams, to fields, to rivers, to my nieces' and nephews' house in the next town over, to my sisters house who also lived in a different town, to friends houses, to a stable, to find my father when he was on the golf course, to the swimming pool and holes, and to school.
I was never afraid. I was never molested or threatened in any way. I was never afraid of the dark, and my parents were happy that their girl was strong, tanned, healthy, and suited to the outside world. I spent the bulk of my childhood being harmoniously a part of the great outdoors. The trees, bugs, and me in perfect harmony.
As I grew a bit, people began to ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up. Every time asked, I said, I want to be a mother. No one laughed. No one said I was too stupid to go to college. No one thought I was lacking in ambition, for in those times, being a mother had great value in the hearts of both men and women, but also in the community and nation, at large. Motherhood was known to be a job, a difficult one, and a full-time one. It was also held in high regard.
And when I was young, people had many, many more practical knowledge skills. All fathers and brothers could fix cars, lawn mowers, tractors, boat engines, toasters, leaking faucets and spigots. They could fix broken septic systems and toilets and electrical problems. They could fix furnaces of every kind, and they could build just about anything from houses and barns to tree houses to furniture to patios. They could install windows and doors. They could fix tires, bicycles, motorbikes, and scooters. They could plant crops, design and plant vegetable gardens. They could hunt and fish and provide food, and they did. Most felt responsible for their families and provided for them.
Women knew how to cook. They knew how to set tables. They knew how to can. They knew how to make clothes, to crochet, knit, quilt, make curtains, lace, rugs, and how to re-cover furniture. They knew what was wrong with their children without having to run to pediatricians for rashes and runny noses. They knew how to treat injuries and contusions without having to run to emergency rooms or clinics. They knew how and what kind of medicines to give to children, and they kept medicines on hand. They could diagnose and treat all ordinary childhood illnesses.
Women knew how to save for rainy days, and they did. They knew how to keep pantries, and what was needed for storage. They knew not to waste money ever, and they didnt. And most women didnt find or lift their self-esteem with tanning booths, bleached teeth, make-up, day spas, workout routines, designer clothing, chronic diets, and all the other television-implanted behaviors that damage females.
And school children never saw armed guards and metal detectors in their school buildings. They never wore RFID tags or were spied upon while doing arithmetic. And school personnel did not decide upon a childs sanity and document their findings in government files. Teachers taught what children needed to learn instead of conservation and ethics re-education from the United Nations.
When times were tough, families buckled down and stopped spending money. They did not accumulate debt because they knew better. They knew that debt meant vulnerability. When times were good, they saved and were thrilled to death to be able to save because saving money meant that you had some money. Having money meant that you were doing well and had savings.
Many people lived in cities and towns because there was very little crime. It was safe to live in the cities. Most people didnt take drugs or even drink very much, because drinking alcohol was for special occasions, as a rule. And many, many people simply didnt drink alcohol at all, and they were not looked upon as socially bankrupt.
Crop farmers, dairymen, cattlemen, pig farmers, goat and poultry farmers and seed farming were all held in the highest regard by most people, because most were at least related to a farming family and knew how important farms were to the country.
Building and expansion was performed on an as-needed basis. Urban and suburban expansion was taken to the people as plans so that they had a voice and a say in urban development.
And the parks, wildlife sanctuaries, and the wilderness and water areas were loved and cared for by the American people. Dont you ever believe otherwise.
Todays world feels much like an alien landscape to many of us living today. So many people, who are younger, dont understand how much has been lost how much individual liberty and freedom has been lost. For instance, human safety, security, and self-confidence have been enormously eroded. This is particularly true for women.
The freedom of self-definition has all but gone by the wayside. Today media tells us how to look, how to eat, what to wear, where to shop, what to buy, what we need, what we want, on and on and on. Its endless, endless mind control. Please consider this: 50 years ago, no one, minus parents, told anyone, any of the above.
People today are virtually skill-less. The best way to demonstrate the dangerous vulnerability of people with no life skills is to imagine a nuclear event or any other event that would take out all power for one month. No car, no running water or stored water, no heat, probably no cash, probably 1 to 3 days of non-perishable foods on hand, no stored medicines or first aid supplies, no extra diapers, wipers, or formula, no potassium iodide, on and on. Add to this, no ability to find or chop wood, for you have no trees in your new neighborhoods and you do not own an axe or a hatchet, and besides, the forested lands are off-limits to people.
You have no stove or fireplace. You know not how to fix even one appliance in your home. You have no heat source, no cooking source, and almost all of your food is processed boxed food, frozen, or microwave food. And you have no water at all and no cash on hand.
The point I hope to make is that American people have lost and are continuing to lose, at a genuinely frightening pace, their basic rights under the Constitution, their liberties as American people, and their personal, individual freedoms.
Theyve lost confidence, definition, life skills, grit, determination, bravery, ability, and gumption. It a hard thing to see, or even comprehend, if you are in your 20s, 30s, or even 40s. But listen to me: you dont know what youve got until its gone. If even half as much is gone from you when you are in your 50s, as has eroded in my lifetime, then America is going to be gone.
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All brought to you by liberalism.
Thank you, Liberals, for destroying our lives. This article is a battle cry to utterly destroy the democrat party.
What has happened is loss of community and self pride.
Replaced with massive growth, political correctness, and multiculturalism.
Ah geez! now I have to read it.
I've thought these very things. I know my kids think I'm crazy when I talk about how things have changed and how much better things used to be in so many way. Progress has been great, but it's meant we've lost so much.
We had a young couple move in next door to us. We have become aquainted. it is very sad how helpless kids are today. I call them kids because I am over 50 like the lady discribes. She has asked me if I will teach her how to cook. she is learning how to keep a house clean. I think she is sweet and I can see and hear the hope in her voice for a normal home and family. I will do what I can. But, the writer is hitting a home run on this one.
I can relate! Good article.
Isn't some of this just generational griping? It seems like each generation talks about how easy or how lost the younger generations have it.
Through the patriot act, promoting political correctness that leaves us wide open to further attacks, and gargantuan permanent spending increases that will eventually collapse the financial viability of this country this Republican-led government has done far more damage to this country than the Clinton administration ever did.
You fools who stick your heads in the sand and keep voting based on blind partisan loyalty are just as responsible for the destruction of this country.
Not to start a feud, but irresponsible immigration policies have certainly added to the mess.
Surprised to see this article was written by a woman.
What wonderful memories, and I don't even think I'm that old (45 years). I remember providing just that for my children as late as the early eighties. Times have certainly changed or I have changed. But fond memories none the less.
Irresponsible immigration, two income households, and shame on stay at home moms have caused a huge breakdown of American Family values.
Replaced with Single parent families, one income households, no parent at home and
of course the melting pot that has darn right turned it self into a burned up mess.
All those things courtesy of Steinam, Patricia what's-her-name and those other feminazi's (thank you Rush).
Also the gutless left-wingnuts are responsible for the left.
Sorry folks! I forgot to slam the libs in my last post.
Replaced with massive growth, political correctness, and multiculturalism. Anythingelse????
Cucumbers that now run around wearing condoms !!! ;-))
HAHAHAHAHA! That is not only funny, but TRUE!!!!
I need stop posting.
I am making way too many mistakes.
I'll be on later.
Tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick .....
Aren't we a tad testy? Then go forth and legislate.
"Isn't some of this just generational griping? It seems like each generation talks about how easy or how lost the younger generations have it."
-Sometimes I think it is. Sometimes not. When I read about mice with human brains, my first thought was, "I am glad I will die before this becomes too big an issue, because that is not the world I was born to live in." I was born in the 1960's and even I am beginning to feel lost. The old ways, the honest times, the imaginative play with the littlest things, the skill awards I earned in cubs and the merit badges I earned in scouts, the hikes with friends to the woods on the edge of town, the western shoot outs we had in the quarries...all gone.
We didn't do drugs, we read books at the town library. We chose sides for kick ball or baseball or touch football. We imagined and dreamed...it all feels gone. To tell you the truth, I think the author is right. It might do us some good to have some life changing event which brought all this 'progress' screeching to a hault and maybe discovering our values again in the process.
I remember when the blizzard of '78 hit New England. It was supposed to be a huge catastrophy, but those of us who lived through it will fondly remember how we re-discovered our friends and neighbors for a few weeks when there were no cars, when we pitched in together and we made do or went without. The best times in life are often smaller and simpler than Madison Avenue would want us to believe...
Heck, I'll be 39 this year and I see a huge loss between the 1970's and now. On a Morrow Project gaming group I'm in, one gamer is in Alaska, back in 1980, he remembers there was a remote village in Alaska where the Eskimos knew how to hunt, fish and take care of themselves with a minumum of electricity but now the town is so dependent on the power plant built there since that if the shipment of fuel oil is late, they are in dire straits.
No arguement here.
Surely you are not calling me a fool because I will never vote for a Democrat? We have enough of them in the Republican Party.
The author did not even touch upon the downgrading of morals to the relativistic "values". Divorce, abortion, and "homosexuality" were all but unknown of 50 years ago. Nowadays they are everywhere; the latter two abdominations are celebrated with a religious ferver - even by some mainstream denominations! There is nothing beyond the here and now - beyond instant, fleeting gratification. People are trapped in an empty, materialistic existence. Even as a 40 year old, I can remember a very different America and can sense the the loss of what was before I was born.
That would be sound advice 30 years ago, unfortunately, the system is broken. Term limits and shorter Congressional sessions would help. True campaign finance reform (limiting organizational contributions), grandfathering most legislation, and applying Constitutional overview could also help. Yes, I'm living in a dream world.
I have to also wonder how much can be attributed to liberalsim on this one. Materialism definitely has a big part in this. People want all these things that they seem to "need", and all the better for the corporations that happily sell these products to them.
Additionally I have to wonder how much simple nostalgia plays a role into the writing of this article. Everything always seems better when looking at it in the past.
I have to weigh in here. We had a cistern when I was a kid (not a well - there is a difference). I really didn't like having to pump a bucket of water and carry it in, then spill it on the floor and catch hell from the old man. Trust me, it's much better to have a simple tap to get water from. And, when the old man would clean out the cistern once a year, and you saw what was in the bottom of it, well. . . .
Yes. The author has some valid points, but lumps together things that are worse (urban crime, increased debt) with things that are just different. Yes, we don't have as many farmers; that's because agricultural productivity is much higher, which is *good*. And she ignores positive changes like vastly improved medical treatments and widely available global communication.
This is part of the problem. We don't need any campaign finance reform.
passive citizenship-- the refusal or inability to teach children the fundamentals of the American experiment and how to preserve its ideals.
That's true too.
It's true you have to fight to learn to be self sustaining if necessary, I have always thought it was worth it. But can you imagine how you would have to fight to keep those at bay that can't drive without a cell phone stuck to their heads? And wouldn't have a clue how to hunt, preserve and plant for your own family? It would not be pretty. More ammo.
All brought to you by moral-liberalism, with the Libertarian Party champions.
Could I have said this better myself?
back then, I used to wear an onion on my belt. Yessir, those were the days! But then they had to go and change things . . .
My great grandfather laughed at my grandfather for not knowing how to drive a horse and buggy. My grandfather laughed at my dad for not knowing how to hand-crank a Model T. My dad laughed at me for not knowing how to drive with a manual transmission. I laugh at my kids for not being able to navigate without a GPS. My kids will laugh at my grandkids, as they fly around in their automated jet-pods, for not knowing how to drive a car with a steering wheel.
Hindsight is always, always, always obscured by rose-colored glasses. The future always, always, always looks grim to cranky old people.
Sick 'em, CM. Sick 'em. :)
....the safety issue. Particularly: the loss of childhood. FReepers have been discussing the reasons on and off for awhile. When you think about it, it may be the saddest tragedy (thanks, liberalism) of all.
The freedom to roam, to explore, ride a bike, hike around - unsupervised - is just about GONE.
The reason? Coddling of the predator. I believe there's no "rehabilitation" for particular types of predators. Child predators need to be punished once. Removed from society by any means at the states' disposal. They're allowed to hunt and haunt our children. Breaks my heart.