Appreciate the Old, But Embrace the New


My wish is for everyone to have a happy, healthy and peaceful 2024. If you’re one to make resolutions, I wish you success with keeping them.

Last year, I made some “personal improvement” resolutions – but I’m adding a new one, which is to stop boasting to kids about all the perilous activities I engaged in as a child and survived. It’s a different world now and young people deserve better!

Yes, I, too, was a kid in the late 1950s and ‘60s, and did things that would horrify most people today. As kids, we never wore sunscreen and as a result, got burned to a crisp. We passed around one bottle of pop among friends without giving a thought to the germs we were spreading. I remember standing up in the backseat of our moving car, hanging onto my dad’s headrest. At the same time, my baby sister was riding in the front seat on my mother’s lap. My dad thought nothing of smoking cigarettes with all of us in the car. As teens, we thought nothing of hitchhiking with strangers to get where we wanted to go. It was not a badge of honor; it was dumb luck that we didn’t meet with any harm. We did too many stupid, potentially dangerous things to name them all. We didn’t know any better back then, but today we do.

Let’s get off kids’ backs about silly things like their inability to write in cursive. Okay, they don’t teach it in school anymore. Do we really need it? Except to read an ancient document (most of which are now available in text online) or Grandpa’s love letters to Grandma, it really isn’t necessary. You don’t really have to sign your name in cursive anymore, especially if it’s something handled online.

Instead of ridiculing young people for what they don’t know, let’s applaud them for the amazing things they do know.

Why do we make fun of kids who can’t tell time on an analog clock when all they have to do is look at their cell phones for the time? Remember that the next time you need them to program your computer or other electronic device. You may not know how, but they sure do.

Instead of ridiculing young people for what they don’t know, let’s applaud them for the amazing things they do know. I would be very happy to teach a kid how to write in cursive, or a skill I learned that they did not. In turn, they can teach me about streaming services and how to use that blasted remote to access them.

Do you think that in 50 or 60 years, our grown-up elderly kids will brag and say things like, “Yeah, back in the 20s we went through a pandemic. But I refused to wear a mask or get the vaccine and I’m just fine. It was illegal to text and drive, but we did it anyway and didn’t get into a wreck.”

Probably … but hopefully, they will know better!


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