Think back if you can to a time when children were allowed to
pray in school and even say the pledge to the United States flag every morning.
What! You don’t remember this. Well let me tell you a story about how life used
to be in this country.
Families actually had two parents. If death had separated the
parents, aunts, uncles, grandmothers and even the community came together to
help the family. Divorces were seldom heard of. You knew your neighbors—in
fact—everyone in the community was your neighbor and all you had to do was ask
for help and everyone that was able came to your aid. Our neighborhoods were so
safe, we kids could play outside until 10 or 11 o’clock at night. We didn’t
have air conditioning so we slept with windows open and sometimes even our doors
because there was no such thing as crime. Of course, we had neighborhood drunks
and the occasional teen age boys that drag raced down the highway but nothing as
serious as today.
If any of us kids caused any problem at school we could expect
the punishment to be resumed when we returned home that afternoon.
We were taught to respect our elders and say “yes ma’am”, “no
sir”, “please” and “thank you.” If a neighbor needed help with yard work or
running errands, we helped without thoughts of “how much are you going to pay
me”? We had chores to do and if we forgot to do them we knew we could expect to
have a “memory lesson” that would do the trick. No, we were not abused. We were
taught that to be a member of a family and the benefits that came with that also
brought with it responsibility to help the family. We brought that lesson with
us to adulthood.
We were allowed freedom to have fun but we were always held
accountable for where we went and what we did. Although there were no phones
our parents knew what we had been doing even before we got home. That’s because
we had “nosey” neighbors that were looking out for us.
We didn’t have video games or even much t.v but we had fun with
our family and friends.
Yes, we said prayers and the pledge in school. We helped each
other. There was no shouts of hate or police brutality no rioting in the
streets or teenagers robbing the neighborhood store or beating up the elderly.
The leaders of this country knew how to lead the country and be the leader of
everyone in the country and not cater to a small segment of the
No friends, back when I was a kid, we were taught responsibility
by our parents. Our parents raised us themselves—not nannies, maids,
babysitters or the gangs at the corner. We were shown respect and we, in turn,
gave respect to others.
I think this country would be better off if our society today
went back to the days when we treated everyone the way the Bible teaches us:
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind and love your
neighbor as yourself”.