By Judy Reiss
For those of us within a certain age, what is happening in our country and our world is almost unbelievable! The thought of wars and bombs right in our own towns and cities is actually more like a nightmare. When we were young, can you even imagine such a scenario? I really don’t think so. Keep in mind we were of the generation that played outdoors and hardly ever watched TV. Of course most of us didn’t even have a TV so the thought of staying indoors and doing nothing except watching TV or playing with our own personal hand-held electronic devise was only a dream of the future. Not only that, but we were the same young people who scuffed in the gutters and ditches at the side of the roads, looking for pieces of silver tinfoil paper that we peeled and put in a ball that was supposed to help our war efforts by donating our ball, which was supposed to help build planes! Boy, is that a long time ago. We also were taught to respect our elders and especially our teachers. Can you imagine even suggesting such a thing to most of our young people today?
I sat in our local coffee shop this morning and watched many young people as they went to buy their coffee or tea. And what I saw were young men and boys in outfits that when we were young, would have caused our parents a heart attack! Not only that, but probably our friendly government would have stepped in and demanded that we teach our children how to dress and if the parent wouldn’t, they would. And the girls? Well, that is another issue all together. First, for me I just wonder how it is possible to get those pants on. Tight isn’t even the right word! In fact, I don’t know what it is. And if they aren’t wearing impossibly tight pants, they are wearing shorts that make “shorts” a whole different issue. They are beyond short and I happen to believe that sitting down for them could actually cause serious injury! And the only good thing about having their bra straps as part of their look is that it lets you know that they are actually wearing one!
Now let me ask you a question. Do you think that if parents give up their right to show their children how to dress that they are actually encouraging these types of looks? And of course, we have almost every celebrity that these kids emulate dressing or undressing in outlandish outfits that show off whatever body part they consider their right to show!
OK I guess we all know that times have changed. Children and young people are allowed to dress and even behave anyway that they want to. No longer are children nervous about their parents knowing how they behave in school or just about anywhere but their own homes. Parents are no longer willing or able to teach their children how civilized people should behave. And old people like me are appalled but there is nothing that you or I can actually do about it. Except of course we can try and tell our grandchildren how it was in the “old days” and try and get them to understand and then try and get them to behave.
I also find it difficult to discuss the kids of today without mentioning the young people, too. We no longer seem to have children and grown-ups because those who used to be grown-ups are now trying to be their children’s best friend, which is not only stupid it is embarrassing!
And then we have the final and most important issue of raising children and even those that are still learning how to be grown-ups. We now are willing to tolerate our politicians who have no idea how to behave! But before I give you my opinion about that, let me remind you that from George Washington on to today, our politicians have been given a certain license to misbehave, but until today, the press has respected that license. No one ever knew that FDR was in a wheelchair for most of his presidency, nor did they know that his mistress lived right next to his bedroom! And John Kennedy, whom everyone loved, had women come and go all the time he was in the White House. Did it affect their ability to perform their duties? I don’t think so. That “A” personality has been accepted until now. The digressions of our presidents was considered a moral issue of their own not ours. However, all those men did behave in public! Never, ever was there a meeting of world leaders when one of our presidents embarrassed us or himself. They knew what was accepted in public life and kept their private lives private and their public lives embarrassment free.
Unfortunately we no longer have that behavior going on today. We hope and expect for children to know how to behave and how to speak without looking like a uncivilized pig! However, we now appear to be allowing some of our politicians to do, say and behave in anyway they want to. Fortunately, there have not been a world-wide meeting of leaders where this type of behavior has been demonstrated…yet,,,and hopefully never!
Now how do you explain to your children that although they see the outrageous behavior and language on TV of candidates, that it isn’t acceptable? And if they used that language or behaved that way, even today that they will be punished.
I believe that we will never go back to the 50s or the 60s, which seem to be considered the good old days. Life has changed, and although there are still lots of us who would like to see family life and parents have the time and willingness to raise their own children come back again, it probably won’t. But respect for themselves can still be taught and perhaps our media will help by not glorifying the outrageous, the obscene, and the realistic shoot-em up and murder shows.
You may think that I am wrong but try not to tell me! I can’t help myself but I still believe in good behavior and just a touch of civilization! Oh, and probably not be willing to tolerate the outrageous behavior that is demonstrated by both children and even worse, adults who should know better.