In this day and age I see, read and hear a lot of things I don’t understand. Back when I was a kid I think I was able to understand things better.
I understood trust better. Many people would give you their word that they would do something….and they would. If they didn’t, it would get around that “so and so” don’t keep their promises. If you were in a business of some kind, a couple of cases of that might ruin you. Politicians who were not ethical didn’t get re elected. Relationships were built on trust.
I understood helping one another better. Neighbors would actually really do things for each other. I remember my Daddy mowing our elderly neighbors grass many times. “I already had the mower running” he would say. I remember brown paper bags of fresh garden vegetables being given from one place to another. “We got more Okra then we can eat and more tomatoes…the neighbors across the street have more corn.” Out and back it went. People got together to help each other can vegetables for winter. A big mess of fish was shared, already cleaned. People…helped..each other. Look around and see if that’s happening now. Maybe sometimes…but most times not.
In my current neighborhood, I only know a couple of the neighbors. I’ve been here almost seven years, and I walk around here almost every day, and I should really take the time to try and get to know them, but I haven’t. My fault there. It’s just a harder thing now for me at my age. I’m becoming a bit of a recluse I guess.
I understood relationships better in my younger days.
There was only three TV channels and I had to go outside and manually turn the antenna to pick up one of them. Instead of constantly watching TV, we played. Baseball, football, hide and seek, freedom, board games galore, weekly Rook matches and so much more.
When I was a kid my cousins were my closest friends and playmates, along with our “neighbors on the street”. I could still name all of the ninth street gang if I wanted. There were a bunch of us. When it snowed during the winter, we cut up cardboard boxes and sledded all day. Didn’t even stop to eat lunch. We walked to the golf course with our clubs on our backs. We spent the night with each other. Does this kind of thing still go on? Do I just not see it anymore because I’m an old man?
I feel like sometimes we have lost touch with each other, and when I say that I mean real physical touch, not just being electronically in contact. Don’t get me wrong. I have enjoyed and bought into a lot of the new age of communication and interrelationships. “Social media,” they call it. It was easy to slip into it, and it does have its good points. But, I think not being face to face with real people, and actually seeing and experiencing their needs and their own personal mannerisms and emotional expressions has robbed us of a certain ability to properly relate with other human beings. Social media is really not too personal.
I see many people ask for prayer, and they get many likes and comments, but I bet one personal phone call or in person visit would mean more than 100 “likes” or even a thousand! I came to a stark realization just the other day when I was “texting” one of my sons. Texting is handy and necessary in some cases, but dammit there was no reason why I shouldn’t have just called and talked to him right at that moment…so I did. I have to say that all my three kids call and talk to me and Paula quite often, along with one of our granddaughters. We still use texting too much though, in many places.
I guess my point is that society is at an inflection point as far as “caring about others” goes. Worldwide. The pandemic hurt us badly as our personal communication and touch goes, and we haven’t nearly recovered.
Our politicians don’t seem to care the least bit about helping people either. Most of what they do now is stuff designed to just aggravate and alienate “the other side”. It didn’t used to be that way. I guess I just don’t understand anymore.