Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

March 30, 2013

RAY DAY: Some thoughts for the young

— In all my writings, I have found with pride many readers who enjoy going back with me to the old days, if only in memory.

I found out that I am not the only old man who enjoys the memories of a life that was tough but pure in knowing that families were much closer then, and I ask myself, how can that be?

Families are the backbone of God’s creation, and through them God makes it known that those who can, do enjoy the closeness of family members both then and now.

One of several differences between then and now is that, then, the mothers were in charge of the household, and that was a full-time job with little pay if at all. Today, most mothers have jobs outside the home and very little time to do the housework. So, someone is brought in to clean house and be there when the kids get home.

There are many times when parents leave their children alone while they go out on the town. The main difference is, back in the days of old, mothers would not think about leaving the kids all alone. There would be the oldest one, at least the age of 15, there to govern the brothers and sisters until the heads of the household returned. Or there would be a neighbor there to watch over the family until that time when Mom and Dad got back home.

One thing is for certain: Youngsters need to be trusted with some responsibility, but not too much at any one time. You select through age the ones who were known to be trustworthy enough to handle such an assignment, and you left information as to where you were when needed.

In today’s time, the kids are out on the streets, doing things not thought of in the old days. Gangs bring in the youth because they are so easily impressed with power from others their same age. Now, there were some gangs in the old days, but not like today.

Back then, we called them gangsters, and they stayed within their own family and neighborhood. Today, gangs are everywhere and growing each day. Young kids look up to someone who has power enough to take someone out, and they like what drugs do for them. Life in the days of old was tough, but you could be sure that Dad and Mom were close by to protect their young whenever needed, and so gang members stayed on the other side of the tracks.

All the conveniences of today come with a price, but not by the young. The older generation is there to make it easier for those who come next. We hope to make our children’s lives so much easier because we had it so tough. Or did we?

Really, we appreciated all the things that Mom and Dad did for us, because it was all we knew of the outside world until we left the nest and found out for ourselves. Once we got out on our own, we found out that things were not given to us on a silver platter. We had to work to get those things we wanted, and sometimes we did without because we had no way of getting them. That is until Mom and Dad step in and help out.

Mom and Dad will not always be there to lean on, and we have to learn to be able to do for ourselves. We need to reach down deep within our own pockets and see if there is enough to buy certain things, and if not, we do without until we do have that resource.

If there is anything that was and still is a factor in our years here on earth, it is that we utilize the things we are taught and we make that attempt to follow through with the teaching of our mothers and fathers. We are taught that one day, the hand will not be there and we need to extend that hand to our children and those further in life.

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