SPIN OFF from Trixie Belden...Have We Lost Our Culture or Heritage?
OK, this may be totally off the wall but I started the Trixie Belden thread last night and a bunch of people answered on how much they loved those old mystery books for girls. What has struck me as I've been rereading the books is how different things are today. Anyway these books which were the rage were re released a few years ago and flopped. They were originally published from the 1940's through the mid 1980's...so we've "outgrown" them apparently.
Now granted the kids in the books got to do a lot of cool trips and things many of us weren't able or allowed to do when we were kids...but they did so many things that are rare to see kids do today. Maybe I'm just jaded or maybe it's just part of the US...not sure and why I'm asking. No cell phones, no internet and TV is hardly ever mentioned. These kids helped their parents on their farm or to do other chores, did their homework, played out side all day winter or summer and had a secret club. They helped others and watched their younger siblings. It was considered a LONG trip to drive to Virginia from New York. Heck there was still countryside and wilderness just north of NY City for that matter...can't believe there is much of that left now. Their parents were not shuttling them all over the place for games or lessons either like so many seem to do today...they found things to do for fun as well as the work they did.
Mom stayed at home and kept house and raised the kids. Granted most women still do that but we also hold down a full time jobs and try to do so much more. I'm not a sexist...crap I served in the military, had a career and showed horses all my life until recently...but ladies...are we really ahead? Sometimes I wonder...and I had no kids...something I regret at times now I'm pushing 50.
People today seem to have a lot of quantity of life rather than quality...kids too. We are so fixated on what we don't have nearby and I'm guilty...but we spend so much time talking to people we've never even met via the internet.
While there is a return to the family farm underway to a small degree...so many people are so disconnected to the land and their food supply. Can that be healthy?
Anyway, I probably sound like a whiney old woman but re reading these childhood mystery books has really made me nostalgic and conscious of the differences of today's world versus the one of my childhood. Is it better? I don't think so...I think we've lost way to much on the journey to the present.
Hopefully OT day will go on long enough to have a discussion. The mods have been generous letting it stay open this long.
I do agree with you. My kids didn't have TV or computers until after 5th grade. They were forced to play games or go outside (oh, the horror of having to play.) We actually had the public school complain and tell me it was detrimental to my children's development because they wouldn't have things in common with the other kids. The teacher complained that it made it too difficult to follow her lesson plans that were based on TV characters since my daughter didn't know who the characters were!
Now, fast forward to high school and college and I'm smiling as they are winning many awards and merit scholarships. I'm constantly being told how resourceful and creative they are. The teachers remark how they are a joy to teach. Hmmmmmm, think there's a correlation? I do. Was it easy being the "old fashioned" family? No but I'm so glad as new fMRI brain research demonstrates the changes in the brain from the effect of media.
I was a stay at home Mom, but by choice. And that's what's important, it was a choice for me, and one I gladly made. And yes, we didn't watch much TV if at all. I can recall my daughter telling a friend who wanted to watch TV that it was "poison for the mind." We played cards, board games, the kids played outside. I even had a one extracurricular activity limit per week...it could be ballet, skating, whatever, but only one. Kids need to learn how to be bored and figure out how entertain themselves.
Unfortunately, for many people it's no longer a choice. Wages haven't kept up with inflation. Yes people have more expensive toys and that's part of it, but for many hovering right around and above the poverty level there is no choice.
What we forget about the good old days when Mom stayed home, etc., is that it was really only the good old days for white America.
"We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant
I think one of the biggest things is how much time they did NOT spend sitting in front of a machine (tv) (today computer). They were always out & about, until they collapsed exhausted, outside by the lake, or inside by a fireplace together. They seemed to work up great appetites, eat all they wanted, yet no problems with obesity when you are always on the move!
Makes me understand the Amish (a little haha) - sometimes think I'd like to live in a world where technology was frozen as it was in Trix's world. Lot's of biking, walking, riding everywhere, no draw to spend hours inside staring at a screen, and the quickest way to get a document delivered was via the regular mail man. Oh and only one phone per household hooked to the wall!
But as someone else pointed out, it wasn't so ideallic at that time for other Americans, Trix lived in a bit of a WASP paradise area.
I was sitting here thinking of the race issues at that time and indeed with the Civil Rights movement taking place around then I can see why you'd say that...but I would also say that life isn't necessarily all that much better in a material sense now it was then for many of the minorities. While there is less discrimination now and more opportunity for minorities in the US, there is still plenty of poverty, unmarried mothers, kids without fathers, etc...and that has gotten worse since the times of Trixie...so better in some ways and worse in others...probably the same as with WASP's...
I came from a farming family and my father a blue collar type worker. I was one of the first "kids" in my family to get a college degree and do anything "professional." I regressed back into my roots now as a farmer and farrier but I prefer that over the corporate ladder climbing backstabbing world of a CPA which I once was. Anyway, we never had anything like what the kids in those books had...the trips, the horses (I finally got a pony at 15 after years of begging), and the advantages...but we did have a quality of life that is lacking a lot now...like other said...outside playing and being kids and not bombarded with violence and sex and media telling you what to think. There were plenty of drugs when I grew up in the 70's if that was your "thing" but most people looked down on the "pot heads" and we had more wholesome things like 4H and other activities like riding our horses to keep us busy.
It is a sad truth than many folks have no choice but to work and let the kids go to daycare. Kind of worrisome and the kids today seem very different that those of even 20 years ago. The young people of today face a different future than we had when we were starting out and I worry that they will not have the same opportunity or American Dream.
I really could do without a cell phone personally but not in terms of running my business. I appreciate that they keep us safer but I had the annoyance of having one. I guess I'm just old fashioned!
Well, back to work...got business bookkeeping to catch up on this afternoon. Dang OT day is distracting me from my work!
Daydream Believer, in the 50's and 60's, unlike white Americans with a huge middle class, there were very few middle class African Americans.
I imagine (and I'm clueless because I attended a segregated school until middle school even after civil rights legislation) that those aren't the "good old days."
One of my memories includes the water fountains outside the StrideRite shoe store in Baltimore. One was labeled for whites, the other for dogs and coloreds. Not the good old days at all.
Women couldn't open a credit account or a bank account without their husband's permission either.
And those stay at home mom's WORKED.
Clothes were ironed, floors waxed, ovens cleaned, dishes washed and refrigerators defrosted.
I'm also old enough to remember the polio epidemics and iron lungs and leg braces.
Milk was delivered in glass bottles that said "from tuburculin tested cows"
Childhood leukemia was an almost certain death sentence as were many heart defects.
Penmerryl's Sophie RIDSH
"I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
The ignore list is my friend
I realize in some ways women's lives are easier now but have we really escaped the burden of raising kids or running a household? I don't know about you ladies but I cook, clean, do laundry, etc...and still hold down 3 jobs. My husband has little to do after he gets home in an evening and I don't want him poking around in my kitchen... I've never been busier and never worked so hard in my life as I have after starting my own business...and trying to keep it from failing after 4 years of recession...but that's another topic. I know I'm not exactly the exception to the rule...today's women have less quality time than we had back then when we were "stay at home" moms.
Anyway...moms today have it just as hard or harder and many more of us WASP types are on food stamps and in poverty than we were in Trixie's day...the "new normal" if you will.
I would argue Carol that fewer people died from obesity related illnesses back then too like heart disease and diabetes kill so many now. Now women contact breast cancer at higher rates than ever as well. Heck, speaking of children's health, obese kids were rare then and I remember how awful they were treated in school...now more kids are obese than are not...just like adults. Are we really better off? I would argue that it's relative. We've gotten better in some ways and worse in others. My point it that have we really improved our lives from back then in quality of life? I don't think so and that was the point of the thread I guess. Sure we might live a year or two longer than our grandparents average life expectancy but our children of today's generation will be the first generation to have shorter live expectancies than their parents...so we are going in some wrong directions for certain.
Laura...are there really that many more middle class minorities today..not just talking blacks either but all minorities? I realize that there have been major improvements made and the elimination of Jim Crow laws...but still...life is not a bed of roses. Something like 70% of all African American kids are born to a single mother for example. The family structure has collapsed in the black culture. While they also have gained in some ways, they've "lost" in other ways...same as with WASP's. That was all I was trying to say.
<SNIP>\I would argue Carol that fewer people died from obesity related illnesses back then too like heart disease and diabetes kill so many now. Now women contact breast cancer at higher rates than ever as well. Heck, speaking of children's health, obese kids were rare then and I remember how awful they were treated in school...now more kids are obese than are not...just like adults. Are we really better off? I would argue that it's relative. We've gotten better in some ways and worse in others. My point it that have we really improved our lives from back then in quality of life? I don't think so and that was the point of the thread I guess. Sure we might live a year or two longer than our grandparents average life expectancy but our children of today's generation will be the first generation to have shorter live expectancies than their parents...so we are going in some wrong directions for certain.
Well, sooner or later we're all going to die. However I'm darn glad polio has been virtually eradicated and the cure rate for childhood cancers has increased dramatically.
Yup countries all over the world have a problem with obesity. I'm obese (barely) COTH will not hesitate to point out that it's my fault.
All in all I wouldn't go back.
Penmerryl's Sophie RIDSH
"I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
The ignore list is my friend
Our memories are wonderful things. We remember the the good (most of us) and forget the bad. That's all I'm trying to say.
I think you are pretty much right...I think we tend to wax nostalgic about the past often and it is true that not all things from the past were good...nor are things necessarily better today in all ways.
Interesting discussion and nice to get other's perspectives as well.
DDB, you need to renegotiate your at home contract!
Mr DDB works pretty hard too and he, being a man, is less able to cope with stress.
He helps when he can but he does work a long week. I take pity on him sometimes. In a couple of weeks I'm going to drag him to the woods, put him on his fresh-not-ridden-all-winter gelding and make him ride for hours in the woods...my idea of fun...so I'll get my revenge!