I miss the America I grew up in:
Funny thing about time and hindsight it gives perspective in regards to what your parents told you. Every generation has their need to make their mark to rebel against the norm or the system. Many of the hippie generation has become part of the establishment they had bemoaned.
When I was a kid if the street lights went on it meant you get in the house. We did not lock our doors nor did we lock our cars. These days we have locks, bolts, and alarms.
Traditional values were touted even if they were not strictly followed because my parents knew it’s a slippery slope and there needed to be a line drawn in the sand so we would not cross over it. Rule of law was feared and respected.
I grew up as an Army brat, I went to 10 different schools. Some of the schools I went to were not in the States and many times the other brats like me understood firsthand what it was like to be discriminated against. I was taught we are in this together. I was told we were Americans no other titles were needed. There were no special titles to differentiate between us such as African American, Chinese American etc. We were Americans.
My great great grandparents came here from Poland. They migrated to Hamtramck they taught my grandmother to take care of what you have even if you are just renting. My parents taught me that and added leave it better than the way you found it. The Hamtramck community was tight-knit when we moved there 3 years before my father retired from the Army. I went to a Catholic school ( that would take an entire blog to tell you about) The neighborhood was safe and clean. In fact, it was so clean you could eat off the streets. That doesn’t mean there was no evil lurking in the dark this was only a couple of years before the riots broke out. We moved one week before the riots. It saddens me to see what decay has come to the streets of Detroit and Hamtramck.
Other things have changed; the adults I knew would be embarrassed to be on Welfare. If they were in need they could get help from family, a neighbor, the church but they would feel obliged to pay it back and would be embarrassed to ask for more anytime soon.
For the most part, there was no sex before marriage although that line was crossed and I am glad today there are more open-minded responses to this lapse in judgment when the girl got pregnant. I am not for abortion but I am for loving the person and giving a hand up not a handout.
It was also unheard of living together unless you are married. I crossed that line after my divorce (which was still frowned upon) But, our goal was to get married. I could not even imagine living with my boyfriend and his parent’s eek! If that boy could not share the expenses of an apartment or something similar then he is not marrying material.
I wonder how my life would have been different with the technology today. I was married to a police officer for 19 years. He cheated on me like it was a sport, smashed things in my face when I was sleeping, picked me up by my throat (once) that is when I hit the road. Why so long? Many reasons one of which was divorce was frowned upon another was I had gotten to the point I believed I could not do it on my own. Well, I did and I believe with hard work and tenacity everyone can.
I miss the America I grew up in. Respect was important and disrespect was not tolerated. Even if we disagreed with someone’s politics we agreed to disagree don’t get me wrong not everyone walked to the same beat and some were angrier than others. Those were the ones I was told to avoid. I still do.