Was at a group meeting a few months back and an older gentleman shared an email he received from a friend. The email read….
How Did We Make It this Far?
Looking back, it’s hard to believe that we have lived as long as we have…
As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags. Riding in the back of a pickup truck on a warm day was always a special treat.
Our baby cribs were covered with bright colored lead-based paint.
We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors, or cabinets, and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets. (Not to mention hitchhiking to town as a young kid!)
We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle.
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 streetlights came on. No one was able to reach us all day. No cell phones. Unthinkable.
We played dodgeball and sometimes the ball would really hurt. We got cut and broke bones and broke teeth and there were no law suits from these
accidents. They were accidents. No one was to blame but us. Remember accidents?
We had fights and punched each other and got black and blue and learned to get over it.
We ate cupcakes, bread and butter, and drank sugar soda but we were never overweight … we were always outside playing.
We shared one grape soda with four friends, from one bottle and no one died from this.
We did not have Playstations, Nintendo 64, X Boxes, video games at all, 99 channels on cable, video tape movies, surround sound, personal cellular phones, Personal Computers, internet chat rooms. Instead we had friends.
We rode bikes or walked to a friend’s home and knocked on the door, or rung the bell or just walked in and talked to them.
We made up games with sticks and tennis balls and ate worms and although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes, nor did
the worms live inside us forever.
We ate penny candy, swallowed bubblegum, and our intestines did not stick together because of it.
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. Tests were not adjusted
for any reason.
Our actions were our own. Consequences were expected. No one to hide behind. The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke a law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law!
This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers and problem solvers and inventors, ever. The past 50 years has been an explosion of innovation and new ideas. We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all.
Obviously as a twenty something I can’t relate to everything in this letter, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t certain things that stood out to me (I bolded the things I liked).
I mean think about cell phones. Twenty years ago no one had cell phones and people managed to get by just fine. Now, if I reach down to grab my phone and it’s not in front of me, I have a mild panic attack. Funny how priorities change. (p.s. who doesn’t love going on vacation somewhere you know you’re phone wont get service? It’s so liberating!)
What were some of the things in the letter that rubbed ya the wrong way? What were some that resonated with you?
Any other 20-somethings out there willing to admit we are probably the laziest generation to have ever existed? Would love to hear from the 40+ crowd today and get your insights on how you’ve seen things change over the years!
p.s. if Facebook is the biggest “accomplishment” of our generation I’m going to cry.