Time to Re-evaluate Our Values?

Change is exciting. Change is threatening.

Change is good, and change is bad.

We usually discuss change in terms of how it affects the way we conduct business in today’s challenging, chaotic environment. We seldom take the time to think about how change has impacted family life.

Generational differences can be humorous at times and debilitating at other times. Maybe we should consider the possibility of resurrecting some of yesteryear’s basic values in the hope that they may still have some positive influence on today’s young people.

When you look back at those who survived the 40s to 70s, you suddenly realize these generations have produced some of the best risk-takers, problem-solvers, inventors and leaders ever!

In fact, the past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas. Those responsible for these great accomplishments had freedom, failure, success and responsibility and actually learned how to deal with it all. Of course, that was before lawyers and the government regulated so much of our lives for our own good. Today, we protect our young generation from the very elements which made us so strong.

There are those today who really can’t understand how many of us born in that period even survived our childhood. Think about it.

First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they were pregnant.

They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn’t get tested for diabetes.

Then after that trauma, we were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs covered with bright colored lead-based paints.

We had no child proof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets, and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets. I can even remember hitchhiking everywhere before I got my own car.

As infants and children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, booster seats, seat belts or air bags.

I remember riding in the back of a pick up truck on a warm day and considered that a special treat.

We drank water from the garden hose. We never could have imagined paying for water in a fancy imported bottle from the grocery store.

We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle, and NO ONE actually died from this. In fact, I remember sharing my ice cream cone with trusty dog, Scout.

We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank Kool-aid made with sugar, but we weren’t overweight—and for good reason: WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING!

We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on. No one was able to reach us all day. And we were OK.

We did not have Playstations, Nintendos, X-boxes, Wii games, or iPods. We were lucky to have 12 channels much less 300 on cable, no video movies or DVDs, no surround-sound or CDs, no cell phones, no personal computers, no Internet or chatrooms.

WE HAD FRIENDS, and we went outside and found them! We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth, and there were no lawsuits from these accidents.

We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.

We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, made up games with sticks and tennis balls and although we were told it would happen, we did not poke out very many eyes.

We rode bikes or walked to a friend’s house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them!

Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn’t had to learn to deal with disappointment. We kept score at every game. We were allowed to lose. I remember the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Not everyone got to play an equal amount of time. Imagine that!

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we got in trouble at school was unheard of. They actually sided with the teacher!

Our adult neighbors pulled us out of the road, scolded us, smacked us on the butt and sent us home when needed because it took a village to raise a child. You certainly won’t find that today.

We tried. We failed. We tried again. We succeeded. We learned. We survived. We thrived.

Kind of makes you want to run through the house with scissors, doesn’t it?!

About Harry K. Jones

Harry K. Jones is a motivational speaker and consultant for AchieveMax®, Inc., a company of professional speakers who provide custom-designed seminars, keynote presentations, and consulting services. Harry's top requested topics include change management, customer service, creativity, employee retention, goal setting, leadership, stress management, teamwork, and time management. For more information on Harry's presentations, please call 800-886-2629 or fill out our contact form.

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