First and foremost, let me state for and on the record, I am not a racist! Never have been, never will be! I was raised in a loving, caring home where all people were equal regardless of race, colour, culture or creed. I grew up in the 50s, a time of innocence and trust. Where doors were never locked and neighbours looked out for you, making sure the washing was in, if it looked like rain. The groceries were put away, the chooks and pets fed if you weren’t home. We lived in a time, where “gay” meant ‘carefree and happy’ (it was also a brand of ice-cream!) and where parents socialised with all their neighbours and friends regardless of their social standing and beliefs. We experienced foods from all cultures and embraced our friends and their differences. The values instilled in me during those informative years have never left me.
More and more today, I wish I could find my hidden door and go back to that time. A time where the word “PC” meant ‘Police Constable’ (Personal Computers and Politically Correct were terms not in our vocabulary!) “Rainbow” was something beautiful in the sky and we forever chased that elusive ‘pot of gold’. Nursery rhymes were fun and we knew them all by heart. Little Bo-Peep, Georgie Porgy, Humpty Dumpty, Old King Cole, Mary had a little Lamb and of course Ba Ba Black Sheep. Enid Blyton’s “Noddy” books were read over and over. We knew every word, every character, lovingly caressed as we turned the tattered and torn pages held together with a mother’s loving touch! Where knowledge was an infectious drug and books of every genre and manner were precious gifts, cherished with revered respect and love.
We played Cowboys and Indians with all the kids in the neighbourhood, had cap guns and wooden rifles. We had our gangs and our hierarchy. We obeyed the rules set within this structure, at school and at play. Catholics and Protestants mingled together when they had to, especially on a cold and frosted Saturday morning all in the name of sport!
If we stepped outside the boundaries set for us, we got a swift “kick in the pants” from who ever happened to be the closest – policeman, parent or friend. No one ran crying foul and yelling, “that was assault” If we misbehaved at school, we got a belt across the knuckles from one of the teachers, or God forbid, “six of the best” from the headmaster. We accepted it, no questions… End of story!
My, how times have changed! The world we now live in will never be the same; almost all of us have memories of those beautiful times. It was ‘A time of innocence!’
Yes, we all learned of the Holocaust and the atrocities that took place during the Nazi occupation throughout Europe and other conflicts in the South Pacific. Many of our fathers and grandfathers will never forget the treatment of fellow humans by the Japanese, Germans, Americans and British… all in the name of what?
I’m sure we have all asked that question!
Now… Fast-forward 60 odd years and what has changed?
It’s sad to say, but today, we are no longer a tolerant society. It could be argued that 9/11 saw to that! We’ve become targets for extremists. We all know of this diaspora! The biggest threat seen today is their infiltration into Western society. Sadly, this in part is because of the media scaremongering and continued frenzy. Keeping this image to the forefront and fuelling it on a daily basis through many different outlets. Guess what? We have allowed this. We have allowed in part, these extremists to breathe a foul breath of hatred against the western world.
Our right to celebrate our traditions like Christmas, Easter, our religious beliefs, or our cultures and their traditions, whatever they may be are dwindling. Children today are no longer allowed to recite Ba Ba Black Sheep, or read Enid Blyton’s classic “Noddy” books.
We have to accept that this is the way it is. We are indoctrinated that it must be ‘politically correct’. Sadly, folk just tend to shrug their shoulders and say “Oh well! ”
It doesn’t matter that our forefathers gave their lives to protect what we had.
Right now, America is in the grip of another hatred war. This time it is not ISIS, it is pure racism. The point blank shooting of another African American citizen has ignited a media feeding frenzy. This has continued with the shooting of twelve police in Dallas. These extremists must be laughing all the way to the bank!
Where will it end?
“There is a new war and it is only just beginning!”
Share your thoughts below.
This piece was originally published on Starts at 60 as ‘I miss the times of innocence’. It was one of our most popular contributions by the Starts at 60 community in 2016.
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