Technically, I was child of the 50s. Well at least for six months. With wild abandon I guzzled homemade milk and had a bevy of staff to cater to my every need. It was paradise.
In reality, I was a child of the 60s. I do recall watching the moon landing on a black-and-white TV. We only had three stations to watch and you had to get up to change the channel. There were no cell phones or colour TVs. The Internet hadn’t been invented. I was a kid. I went outside and played. I scraped my knees and probably bloodied my nose a few times. We could breathe the air deeply and not worry about coughing up a lung. Most recollections are idyllic.
But the 60s was also a time of war, poverty, assassinations, racism and sickness. The history books remember the bad stuff. People try not to. It was a time of Family and single incomes. Roles were expected for men and women and children. It was only in those progressive families that young girls were allowed to dream without restrictions. I didn’t know there were restrictions. But then I didn’t know what to dream.
Times were different in the past. There was good and bad. But we evolved. That sounds like a step forward but it too comes with both good and bad. We eradicated some diseases and then created new ones. We got smart and creative in how to deal with illnesses, viruses, so they too evolved. Now we have superbugs and inefficient medicines. Nowadays we love our children to dream without restrictions but then we stress them out with the requirements to succeed. A double-edged sword.
I am in an unrepentant optimist. I believe we will solve the problems we created. Am I naïve? Perhaps. But I look around this world and I see our children recognizing the problems and standing up. They are shaming the past and working hard towards fixing the future. Will they succeed? I hope so. I doubt I’ll be around to see everything fixed. I believe we are moving in the right direction. But this is not something that can only be on the shoulders of the children. We all need to be involved. Even if it’s only in a small way. The very least we can do is support them.
Our world is a paradise. There is incredible beauty here but we must be prepared to look and to see. We must also be prepared to defend that paradise. We only have one world and we are all in this together. It isn’t about one group, one culture, one faction. It is all of us!