It was a different time when I was growing up In the forties and fifties. We didn’t have much first-hand information about disrespect, but we knew a lot about “respect”.
Start with the flag, you know the one; stars, stripes, red white and blue?
Remember when we stood up when the Star Spangled Banner was played at the football games? No one made us, we just did it. (Hand over heart and facing the flag.) Now, some folks are tired of it. Let’s drop down on one knee and look toward the ground.
How about “stand on your own two feet and make a difference” in honor of something worthwhile?
Remember when you were told to address the friends of your parents by Mr. and Mrs.? In our home, we were informed a doctor should not be addressed as “Doc”.
He was educated to be a doctor. We will show him respect by calling him “Dr. Jones”. Our teachers were also spoken of as Mr. and Mrs, or Miss. They were never to be referred to as “old man or old lady “….at least that’s the way we were taught at our house. Teachers were to be respected by the children they taught. Therefore, the teacher did not wear sloppy clothes in the classroom, sit on the desktop to teach or hang around with the high school “kids” outside of school hours.
I recall visiting a high school one day during “change of classes” time. The young folks were going this way and that, running into each other and cramming the hallway. Remember when we were instructed to always walk on the “right side” of the hallway? It was a simple yet effective way of managing the change of classes. As in, driving down the highway; keep to the right; no clutter of wrecked cars. It occurs to me that perhaps the administration is afraid to make rules about the activity in the hall between classes. Maybe the young folks wouldn’t like it.
Life is full of rules to make living easier. How hard can it be to follow them?
Remember “table manners”? Young men do not wear a hat to the table, I was told. Pass the food to the older person at the table first, or to a guest. If you don’t care for the dish that’s passed to you, the response is “no, thank you”…not…”I don’t like that”. When you were ready to leave the table you asked to be excused. .. Like this…”May I be excused?” (Mom or Dad would acknowledge your departure.) Of course this scenario of the family at the dinner table may not be a starting place for manners or conversation in the home these days. Everyone is busy being busy.
Times have changed. Rules can be frustrating; changing them to suit the times doesn’t always help the situation.
Laws are meant to be obeyed. If you don’t like them, there is a way to work toward having them legally changed… Everyone doesn’t think or believe the way we do. Let’s talk about it.
I was watching a commercial yesterday as a young girl is screaming at her Mother, “I’m not hungry.” Poor Mother, she’s chasing the kid down the hall with a dish and a spoon. She simply must find something the dear child likes. Macaroni and cheese in a package is the answer. The kid gobbles it up. When I was a child, (remember it was the forties and fifties), I was told, “If you don’t want to eat what’s on the table, you may be excused. Maybe you’ll be hungry again at the next meal.” No snacks in between, no dessert unless you eat what’s put before you first. As I watched that commercial, I found myself wondering how many little kids were watching it. Little kids don’t understand the advertising ways of the world of television. Do we?
What’s with all this “protest” stuff? Are you mad because the town, the state, the country has done something you don’t like. Protest! Tear it down! Set it on fire! Throw paint on it! Start your own town! Throw stones at the police! Get rid of the police! Destroy businesses! Break their glass windows! Set police cars on fire! Scream the “f” word in everyone’s face.
If you aren’t old enough to vote, you may have to wait until your voice can be heard at the ballot box. That is, if “the box” is still in use. There seems to be a difference of opinion in some areas about circulating ballots to all the names on the list, unrequested, through the mail. Our voices may become completely lost in the process.
In case it has gone unnoticed, much of what we need to learn begins at home. No, the kids don’t get to do everything they want to do. When we find ourselves saying, “My parents would never have put up with that.” Well,guess who the parents are now. That’s us. That’s Mom and Dad. Manners don’t drop out of the sky. Rules don’t come with your birth certificate. Choices are made by one person, you. Teach your kids that!
Cell phones don’t own us. At least, they aren’t supposed to own us. Sitting in a restaurant one day, I watched two folks highly engrossed in their phones, sitting across the table but seemingly not aware of the presence of each other. Is that what you call going out for coffee, or a coke, or what?
When I was a kid, my favorite movies had actors like Roy Rogers, and Gene Autry. No violence. It’s a challenge today to find something on television that doesn’t contain violence or sex. The kids are watching it too, folks. Maybe we should pay more attention to what they’re doing with their time. How long has it been since your kids have heard, “go outside and play”….even the very little kids, as soon as they can sit up without help, are watching the television. I don’t know what Mom and Dad are doing, but they aren’t watching the kids. Does anyone read to their young children anymore? You don’t have time, you say? Well find the time!
There…………I think I feel better now. At least for the moment, I do.
But, I’ll be back..count on it.
Mary Anne Whitchurch Tuck