A Simpler Time

cityescape

I was born in the last year of the 50s. I was playing with toys in the 60s and 70s. It was a wonderful time to be alive. I lived in a town where we didn’t lock our doors at night. Trust was rampant! Emotions were simpler. You liked someone. You didn’t like someone. It really was that laid-back.

Technology was simple as well. It was pretty common for most men and plenty of women to understand how their cars worked. Now it takes a computer to analyze what’s under the hood. And if it stops at the side of the road? Good luck. You practically have to have a degree in Vehicular Engineering to understand anything.

And toys these days have way too many flashing lights and mechanical knobs that make these confusing playthings function. My favourite toy growing up was Lego. I remember red bricks and a gray platform to build on. It was heaven! I would spend hours inside my imagination building castles and dungeons and bridges. I was transported. It was glorious!

I am just over the half-century mark and I actually consider myself relatively well-educated. I still think of myself as bright, aware. But I walk into a toy store and I feel stupid. Everything is laid out. There are instructions on how to do everything. Where’s the imagination? Our children are spoon-fed everything. They don’t have to think, there’s an app for that.

I often wonder what the youth of today would do if the power failed. I would grab a candle, a book and maybe even some paints. I don’t rely on technology to amuse me. All it does is confuse me. And I say this from the seat of a wheel chair. I do need technology. I don’t have to like it, but I need it.

I used to go camping. Out in the wilderness with no light pollution. I knew how to make fire. I could cook. I could stay warm. And I could admire the Milky Way with no interference. They are incredible memories. Now a days we fear for our children. It seems as if no where is safe. We get so much information from the media we’re constantly being bombarded by all the horrible things just outside our front door. Doesn’t seem to matter if it’s true if it makes good copy. Fear seems to be such the prominent emotion with hate running a close second.

Sigh, I wish for simpler times.

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13 thoughts on “A Simpler Time

  1. emilievardaman

    I so agree.
    In the grocery store the other day, a man was pushing his cart, and his son was in the cart. The boy was maybe age five or six. Rather than walking through the store, dad pushed him while the boy played games on a phone.
    It made me sad.

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  2. scottishmomus

    I’ve learned, over the years of buying gifts for my kids, that the ones they still play with best are lego and anything arty-crafty. Every year I add to the lego collection that has now been kicking about twenty-odd years since my eldest played with it. And anything arty has them amused indefinitely. I’ve watched, in fascination, as they’ve each made paper people and built backgrounds and whole towns for the people to live in, wih back stories for each one. Like The Sims, only with paper!
    I was doing Christmas crafty things in school with a rather boisterous class the other day. One of the worst offenders was totally absorbed and then informed me he loved doing this.
    I think we, as adults, do our kids a disservice by presuming that the toys they will like best are the gadgets. My sister-in-law, a really generous soul, was always buying my kids elctronic things that ended up languishing after a few days of play. Now she takes them out and lets them choose for themselves. Sometimes they choose a game for their console but often times they come back with the unexpected.
    I do miss those simpler days of understanding the mechanics of things – I could at least attempt repairs then! Even programming the TV thingy is now beyond me where once I could set the VCR.
    Maybe there’s still a love of the simple and creative and we just need a reminder and the opportunity. Paper still beats ‘puter hans down for me. So tactile but then I’m a bit of a stationery fetishist. My kids might just have inherited that from me. 🙂

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