Why you should be glad to be alive! 90



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According to today’s regulators and bureaucrats, those of us who were kids in the 40s, 50s, 60s, or even maybe the early 70s probably shouldn’t have survived.

Our baby cribs were covered with bright coloured lead-based paint. We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets, and when we rode our bikes we had no helmets (not to mention the risks we took hitchhiking).

As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags. Riding in the back of a milk truck on a warm day was always a special treat.

We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle. Oh, the horrors!

We ate cupcakes, bread and butter, and drank soda pop with sugar in it, but we were never overweight because we were always outside playing.

We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle, and no one actually died from this.

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then rode down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem.

We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the street lights came on. No one was able to reach us all day. No cell phones, unthinkable!

We did not have Playstations, Nintendo 64, X-Boxes, no video games at all. No 99 channels on pay-tv, video tape movies, surround sound, personal cell phones, personal computers or internet chat rooms.

We had friends! We went outside and found them.

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.

We played dodge ball and sometimes the ball would really hurt.

We fell out of trees, got cut and broke bones and teeth, and there were no lawsuits from these accidents. They were accidents. No one was to blame but us. Remember accidents?

We had fights and punched each other and got black and blue and learned to get over it.

We made up games with sticks and tennis balls and ate worms, and although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes, nor did the worms live inside us forever.

Little League had try-outs and not everyone made the team. Those who didn’t had to learn to deal with disappointment.

Some students weren’t as smart as others, so they failed a grade and were held back to repeat the same grade. Horrors! Tests were not adjusted for any reason. Our actions were our own. Consequences were expected.

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke a law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law. Imagine that!

This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers and problem solvers and inventors, ever. The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas. We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all. And you’re one of them!

What do you miss about your childhood? What do you wish had stayed the same for your grandchildren to enjoy? Tell us in the comments below… 

Susan Rieger

Susan Rieger just turned 60 and going on 28. Love life and live it to the full. Love to inspire others to be the best they can be. Intend to leave a positive mark in our Universe and think outside the 'square'. Lived in Canada half my life and the other half here and proud to be both an Canadian and Australian citizen. Almost fearless and a genuine person. A pitch in and help type of gal.

  1. How true this is, but in retrospect food was purer, no additives, not as much traffic on the roads, no souped up cars, not as much predatory behaviour. Therein I think lies the difference. It was innocence pure and simple.

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  2. At Christmas drinks a group of women were reminiscing how we used to cover the bassinet in a loose mesh cover, use the car seat belts to secure the bassinet and head off. And OUR parents thought we were being very fussy.

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    • No seatbelts when I had babies. I used to put them in bassinet and put it on the back seat of car. Before we had a sedan, the baby was laid on the front seat while I was driving. How did they survive? Sometimes I wonder.

  3. When we left school we were expected to get a job and pay some of our wages for board and lodgings. Fair enough. It didn’t matter if the job you got was the one you wanted. You got a job. We were expected to go where the work was available. If we didn’t have a bike or public transport we walked to work. We did as we were told to do by adults at work. It was how we learned the job. If we worked from 7.30 to 4.00PM that is when we knocked off. NOT GET READY TO KNOCK OF AT 3.30.PM. we were taught a good work ethic and expected to pull our weight. Ins spite of it all we mainly grew up OK

  4. Oh for the simple life when the shops shut at 12.00 on a Saturday and people and families actually had time together and those Sunday family roasts

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  5. We were born in an era where there was no TV and had to be more interactive at a face to face level. Having an awareness of God’s presence was also a concept that pervaded our thoughts – whilst we had plenty of time to think. That’s despite lead paint, fibro-asbestos cement and lead taws in hopscoth.

  6. Got to wonder how so many of us survived to live and work to get this country into a position of being one of the richest, but it is unable to provide for our old age.

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    • What happens to the young of today when they get old…. I know. But do you? No aged care , no hospital beds, lost their homes, living in the streets. What happens when they starve to death. Soylent green is being prepared for them. I’m. Dreading the next five years let alone further down the track

    • Can’t provide for the aged because the enormous rise in immigration in the last 20 years has placed too much strain in the health and Welfare System. In the 50’s, 60’s we were advised to take out private health insurance, most did. Today’s immigrants will tell you, they think it’s free!! Have not contributed but avail themselves of all benefits and get them without question. The System is failing for lack of support so the elderly have to fend for themselves. A lot of people aren’t going to like this, but it is true, think about it. Pay in all your life, receive very little or nothing. Come as a non contributing economic immigrant and get full support. No wonder the think it’s free.

    • It’s true Paula, although a friend worked out recently if you put away the private health premiums per week for 30 years, you’d be better off paying cash for medical procedures. She had knee surgery & had to pay a huge gap despite being privately insured. What’s that about?? Something fishy methinks.

    • June & I have only needed the hospital system 6 times since we married in 1967, twice when the kids were born, once when June had cancer, once when I had a new valve in my heart, once when June shattered her femur & once when June had her gall bladder removed. We are public patients & can say that I have never had a bad experience with the hospital system in Aus. My only bitch is that while I am a gold card veteran of the war in SVN, June, who I was married to at the time & still is, cannot access my gold card until I die when she apparently inherits. It is my figuring that even though she was not physically with me in SVN she was in fact with me every step of the way. Pity I didn’t take up bring a pollie instead of the military.

  7. Oh Susan that was such a pleasure to read. So many memories: the kids of today don’t know what they’re missing.

  8. The simple way of life, when kids were kids,played on the streets,and enjoyed the out doors. Everyone in the neighbourhood knew each other. Got dragged along by Mum to visit relies on Christmas morning on the bus. Midnight mass, carol singing with family and friends for the neighbours. Being happy just to open a present, only one was all Mum could afford. I am so blessed to have the simple childhood I had,which makes me appreciate life.

  9. No OH & S. No interferring Phsycologists, no child experts, just parents!!! If you got caught doing wrong the local Sergeant phoned Mum & Dad and you got a good talking to, any lip and you copped a clip round the ear, and another one when Dad turned up. Sad but true, it seems that kids were a lot safer from predeters in those days. The predeters were there of course but you rarely heard of abductions or child rapes. It was a different world then, but our children and grandchildren will, I am sure, cope with their world.

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