Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

March 22, 2014

DAY: What has changed?

By Ray Day
Guest columnist

---- — Many years ago, people did not worry about being diabetic. We had sweets all the time like lots of Mom’s own syrup and her jelly made with her own recipes. And her cakes just melted in your mouth.

As far as having a headache or pain in our bodies, we used aspirin or Anacin and Mom’s great love to take care of it.

And for years, babies, when they were put to bed, were laid on their bellies. Now they say that is wrong, so I guess someone who never had a child or even took care of one changed the rules.

We never had problems taking lids off medicine bottles and we did not wear helmets when we rode our bikes.

Nor were there seatbelts required for all in a car. How many times did you see someone riding in the back of a truck? You can’t do that anymore either.

On a hot day, we drank from the garden hose, but today if you did that with the water, you would spit it out.

Remember when you and your date would drink out of the same drink? Not anymore, as they say is it wrong.

Remember doctors who made house calls? Remember party lines? While you were talking, you could hear someone picking up their phone and listening.

Did your dad make a scooter for you out of a pair of roller skates and two pieces of wood? Our dad did and they were fun to use. Today you buy one from the store and pay good money for it.

We could fix things with with a hammer, screwdriver and wrench. Today you go to a shop to have someone else fix it for a price.

When we fell and hurt ourselves, we did not go and file a lawsuit against someone just because we could. And today, don’t say something bad about someone else because you might get sued.

It seems like all the time we were growing up, there was always either success or failure and we had responsibility, yet we had a certain degree of freedom in what we wanted to do. Life was good because we knew how to keep the bad out of it. Were we just a lucky generation or can we really give the credit to our parents and grandparents who, after working all their lives, wanted to instill the same thoughts into the heads of the younger generation?

Has time changed from what it was back in the days of old? Are the ones coming up trying to grasp the worth of the things our parents taught us? Will we one day have to go back to living in a time of turmoil, or will we drift forward in a trance waiting for the worst to happen to us? Can we as members of this generation change the way we eat, sleep, work and play?

Well, I can only say this — and you can take it to the bank if it is still there — only you can make it better, and likewise, only you can make it worse.

We try to improve, not lose our values. Life can be the greatest gift ever given and you can enrich it more by treating others with the respect they deserve. You can be the one who helps change another’s life so that they have the chance to go forth into the world and be successful, which in part follows a path for their children.

You can look back and see where you could have done a better job in the raising of your children and still have time to do just that if they want that help. And you and I can look back while looking forward and maybe see where the help is needed now and walk that path. It would not hurt to try and we can be pleased with that work. But then will life change that much if we do?

We can only try. That is the beauty of life given to us as a gift from God.

Ray “Uncle Ray” Day is a weekly contributor to the Kokomo Tribune. Contact him at uncleray@earthlink.net.