GENDUSA COLUMN: Them Good Old Days?

Published 9:30 am Wednesday, July 13, 2022

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It seems that when every generation begins to age, they long for the return to those good old days. Many wish for America as it was when they were young and yearn for a time when society reflected better values and morals. Since I am a bona fide Baby Boomer, I understand.

I recall The Greatest Generation thought the same when many of America’s youth fled to Woodstock in bell-bottoms, protested, and watched Elvis swivel his hips.  And God forbid if those irreverent boomers wore their hair like those boys called “Beatles.” 

Today, many members of my generation are downright obnoxious, trying to locate a ticket to yesterday when life in America seemed perfect. They are convinced today’s younger folks who jump up and down at rap concerts, demonstrate and wear hair in shades of blues, pinks, and green will send the world to “Hell in a Handbasket!”

Didn’t our parents use that phrase?

Yes, it appeared to be a simpler time, but not for all.  Women, minorities, and those considered “different” had to adjust to social, educational and wage inequality. 

Didn’t we march for those changes?

Do we want to live in the days without lifesaving vaccines, treatments, and medicines for everything from polio, cancer, and other countless diseases to watch our loved ones suffer?  The advances in science and medicine to aid our world since World War II are miraculous.

Plus, our life expectancy today has increased by 12 years since 1950.Who doesn’t want to see their grandchildren grow? 

If you are old enough to remember, did you like using the phone booth to make a call during a storm? When your car broke down on Highway Out Yonder, how did you call for help?   

Gas and everything related to automobiles is downright expensive today, but do we want to drive cars with no seat belts or airbags while our toddler grandson stands in the front seat? I don’t think so. Today, the number of deaths by car accidents is approximately half the number recorded in 1950.

Wait, didn’t many Boomers assist in inventing the cures, the mobile phone and safer automobiles?

However, there were some aspects of long ago we long to see again.

Bullying in our day was mostly limited to the mean kids on the playground or taunting in high school. If we did not respect our elders and teachers, we faced dire consequences from those aging parents we knew. Today, bullying and disrespect seem to be acceptable in adults as well. I have listened to the tirades of politicians inciting flames of hatred as I have never heard before. Are we no longer responsible for our actions, or was that rule applicable only in our youth?

Today, many wish to search for lies on the computer instead of truth to bolster their personal beliefs, leading to distrust. It’s shameful how many people we harm when we do such things. And we wonder why suicide is up, the sanctity of life is down, and church pews are empty. 

Our love of money and material things should be secondary to faith and moral values, and the Bible tells us so. A greedy, unappreciative, resentful, hateful heart reaps nothing and never will. 

So, considering all of this, where do we wish to go, past or present?  Since the Time Machine is not in production, we cannot return to yesterday.  Instead, today we must consider changing what we can and prioritizing what is essential.  Returning to falling on our knees and reaching for God’s hand instead of worshiping any politician, political party, or false idol would be a good start.

God is as present today as He was when we were born. He expected great things from us. We fall when we don’t abide by his advice and counsel. When we hit the computer send button or use our mouths to spread vitriol and conspiracies, or when we abandon our brothers and sisters, we fail.

Why are we so eager to share controversy instead of peace? What does that say about us? What does it say about us when we choose our pocketbooks over character? 

My generation is at a point they must believe that it is never too late to improve our legacy. We can make a difference in future generations by exemplifying God’s greatest commandment: “Love one another.” His laws will return us to morality and respectfulness, not ours. 

We were once the dreamers, thinkers, and shakers who believed we could advance humankind. And we did. Many forgot as we aged that we still can with the Almighty’s help and mercy.

Why not endeavor to make them “good old days” … today?