(Original source, "anonymous" Internet e-mail, embellished somewhat by me.)
According to today's regulators and bureaucrats, those of us who were kids in the 30's, 40's, 50's, 60's, 70's probably shouldn't have survived. (And these are the 1900s, consider also the 1800s.)
- Our baby cribs were covered with bright colored lead-based paint.
- We had no childproof lids or locks on medicine bottles, doors, or cabinets, no safety barriers on stairwells, no gun locks.
- When we rode our bikes, we had no helmets.
- Not to mention the risks we took hitchhiking.
- We would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags.
- Baby seats for cars, what's with that?
- Riding in the back of a pickup truck on a warm day was always a special treat.
- We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle. Horrors!
- We swam in rivers and lakes, without lifeguards, without chlorine, without sun block, but with snakes, chiggers, fish, and frogs.
- We ate cupcakes, bread and butter, and drank soda pop with sugar in it, but we were never overweight because we were always outside playing. We waited until dinner time, and then we ate what was served. Then we went to bed when told.
- We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle, and no one actually died from this.
- We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then rode down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem.
- We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the street lights came on. No one was able to reach us all day. No cell phones, pagers, Walkmans, or iPods. Unthinkable!
- We did not have Playstations, Nintendo 64, X-Boxes, no video games at all, no 99 channels on cable, video tape movies, surround sound, personal cell phones, personal computers, or Internet chat rooms. Toys-R-Us: not even at Christmas!
- We had friends! We went outside and found them.
- We played dodge ball, and sometimes the ball would really hurt.
- We fell out of trees, got cut and broke bones and teeth, and there were no lawsuits from these accidents.They were accidents, no one was to blame but us. Remember accidents? Insurance, what's insurance?
- We had fights and punched each other and got black and blue and learned to get over it. We were not easily "offended".
- We made up games with sticks and tennis balls and, although we were told it would happen, we did not put out any eyes.
- We rode bikes or walked to a friend's home and knocked on the door, or rang the bell or just walked in and talked to them.
- Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment.
- Some students weren't as smart as others, so they failed a grade and were held back to repeat the same grade. Horrors! (Try this!)
- Tests were not adjusted for any reason, nor deadlines extended.
- There was no ritalin for teachers, no prozac for parents.
- There were no condom machines in school washrooms.
- There were no smoke-free places.
- Our actions were our own. Consequences were expected. There were fewer lawyers, fewer "victims."
- The idea of parents bailing us out if we got in trouble in school or broke a law was unheard of. Parents actually sided with the school or the law. Imagine that!
Actually this should not come as a surprise, after all, we are descended from people who survived Bubonic and other plagues, famines, inquisitions, and global freezing. Being "offended" would have been a welcome relief to our ancestors.
Not only did we survive our childhood, our generation has produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers, and inventors, ever.
We had freedom, failure, success, and responsibility --- and we learned how to deal with it. Self esteem comes from self efficacy, not cheerleaders.
And you're one of them! Congratulations, "they" don't make them like that any more!
Except ... it's US that's making them now, so why aren't WE making them more like we were?
Have we met the enemy, and he is us? (Pogo)