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Off topic: How on earth have we survived??
Thread poster: Dave Greatrix

Dave Greatrix  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:49
Dutch to English
+ ...
Jun 3, 2003

According to today's regulators and bureaucrats, those of us who were kids in the 50's, 60's, 70's and early 80's probably shouldn't have survived, because......

- Our baby cots were covered with brightly coloured lead-based paint which was promptly chewed and licked.

- We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, or latches on doors or cabinets and it was fine to play with pans.

- When we rode our bikes, we wore no helmets, just flip flops and fluorescent 'clackers' on our wheels.

- As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags. Riding in the passenger seat was a treat.

- We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle - tasted the same.

- We ate dripping sandwiches, bread and butter pudding and drank fizzy pop with sugar in it, but we were never overweight because we were always outside playing.

- We shared one drink with four friends, from one bottle or can and no one actually died from this.

- We would spend hours building go-carts out of scraps and then went top speed down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into stinging nettles a few times, we learned to solve the problem.

- We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back before it got dark. No one was able to reach us all day and no one minded.

- We did not have Playstations or X-Boxes, no video games at all. No 99 channels on TV, no videotape movies, no surround sound, no mobile phones, no personal computers, no Internet chat rooms. We had friends - we went outside and found them.

- We played elastics and street rounders, and sometimes that ball really hurt.

- We fell out of trees, got cut and broke bones and teeth, and there were no lawsuits. They were accidents. We learnt not to do the same thing again.

- We had fights, punched each other hard and got black and blue - we learned to get over it.

- We walked to friend's homes.

- We made up games with sticks and tennis balls and ate live stuff, and although we were told it would happen, we did not have very many eyes out, nor did the live stuff live inside us forever.

- We rode bikes in packs of 7 and wore our coats by only the hood.

- Our actions were our own. Consequences were expected.

- The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke a law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law. Imagine that!

- This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers and problem solvers and inventors, ever. The past 50 years have seen an explosion of innovation and new ideas. We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all.

And if you're one of them. Congratulations!

Pass this on to others who have had the luck to grow up as real kids, before lawyers and government regulated our lives, for our own good.

(If you aren't old enough, thought you might like to read about us).

Best Regards,

Everest and Coronation baby


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jmadsen  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:49
Funny -- but also very thought-provoking Jun 3, 2003

Thank you for sharing this!
Being a kid of the 70s, I can identify with a lot of this. I spent all my childhood playing outside, and I broke my first limb (a leg) when I was 2½ years old.

I especially like this one:
Our actions were our own. Consequences were expected.

Jørgen

[Edited at 2003-06-03 10:49]


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Martine Etienne  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 14:49
Member (2003)
English to French
+ ...
Hello, I am from this stuff too Jun 3, 2003

Freedom was the principal objective during my childhood. Free from one meal to another. The only obligation was to come back when it was time to eat or to sleep.
What a wonderful life we had..
BUT there were less cars, less maniacs, perhaps less child killers and abusers. Less violence because TV was for the parents, less less less but more joy, more friendship. It seems to be "Peace and Love". But on the countryside where I lived, life was smooth and calm... Now as parent, I am always afraid of something... Drug, alcohol, gang rape, and so on.
How did our parents????

Thanks to have made me remind all that.


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sylvie malich
Germany
Local time: 14:49
German to English
Here's more... Jun 3, 2003

I shared my ice cream cone with the dog...

Never got a ride to school, even when it rained.

We all walked to school. Unescorted. From kindergarten on.

Our days were not scheduled around lessons and we made our own "play-dates".

(We felt sorry for the kid who had ballet lessons on a Saturday.)


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Henk Peelen  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 14:49
Member (2002)
German to Dutch
+ ...
Probably Jun 3, 2003

it was due to the tincture of iodine which was abundantly applied after we tumbled out of a tree or after we played on our old bikes our own Tour de France in narrow streets, and which hurted far more than the injuries and made you thinking twice before again taking a bend too fast.

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lien
Netherlands
Local time: 14:49
English to French
+ ...
True Jun 3, 2003

David Greatrix wrote:

According to today's regulators and bureaucrats, those of us who were kids in the 50's, 60's, 70's and early 80's probably shouldn't have survived, because......

All you say is true, but the world is changed now, because of:

- We did not have Playstations or X-Boxes, no video games at all. No 99 channels on TV, no videotape movies, no surround sound, no mobile phones, no personal computers, no Internet chat rooms.

That is why it would be today unthinkable:

- We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back before it got dark. No one was able to reach us all day and no one minded.

with all the crazy people running wild now.


Lien


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Dave Greatrix  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:49
Dutch to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Exactly my point! Jun 3, 2003

lien wrote:


All you say is true, but the world is changed now, because of:

- We did not have Playstations or X-Boxes, no video games at all. No 99 channels on TV, no videotape movies, no surround sound, no mobile phones, no personal computers, no Internet chat rooms.

That is why it would be today unthinkable:

- We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back before it got dark. No one was able to reach us all day and no one minded.

with all the crazy people running wild now.


Lien


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C Greene  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:49
English to French
+ ...
Disagree.. Jun 3, 2003

Thanks ever so much, David, but I disagree with this one:

"- We would spend hours building go-carts out of scraps and then went top speed down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into stinging nettles a few times, we learned to solve the problem."

It certainly didn't take 'a few times' to learn how to solve the problem - one round in the nettles or rose bush sure was enough

But yes, things unfortunately are different today.

Chris


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RHELLER
United States
Local time: 06:49
French to English
+ ...
those were the days! Jun 3, 2003

Dear David,

Thanks for those memories.

- "We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, or latches on doors or cabinets and it was fine to play with pans."

(I had my stomach pumped after eating a whole bottle of children's aspirin - I liked the flavor)

My knees were always covered with scabs (boo-boos) from going down hills on my skateboard. Brakes - what brakes?

The funny thing- I just kept on doing it! Duh...

Rita


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Maria Knorr
Local time: 08:49
English
+ ...
It's funny but ... Jun 3, 2003

I think that it didn't really matter where on this planet you lived - every kid did more or less the same. Now, American kids need rides everywhere and X-box and PS2 and ... while many other kids still entertain themselves by climbing trees.

Thanks David for such a good reminder of my awesome childhood (80s).

Maria


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Derek Smith  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:49
Italian to English
+ ...
Four Yorkshiremen Jun 3, 2003

Hello David et al.
Without wishing to detract from the serious content of this stimulating discussion, I would add a note of levity with this link to a sketch that you will probably remember well:
http://www.phespirit.info/montypython/four_yorkshiremen.htm
Cheers
Derek


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jerrie  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:49
German to English
+ ...
We wore our coats only by the hood..... Jun 3, 2003

That really made me smile) Why did we do that?!

We rode in packs of whoever was around, wore our coats only by the hood, and went down the steepest hills with our feet on the handlebars and our arms....(holding the hoods on our heads, maybe!)

And I'm still alive!
(Although I certainly wouldn't recommend this mode of transport to my daughter...who wouldn't be seen dead on a bike, or in a coat for that matter!)

And...we didn't even have a TV. 18 years TV free! (Maybe that's why I ended up loving language...and here I am!)


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Patricia Posadas  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:49
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Survivors Jun 3, 2003

Some of them didn't survive... two of my classmates were killed in two silly accidents we were all exposed to.

Also, as mentioned by some colleagues the world has changed, it has become less safe: increase of child abuse, kidnapping, urban criminality, drugs, etc.

Letting my children go out for a ride or to the beach, or to the cinema with their friends, without me or any other adult, has been the most difficult thing in their education so far!

I enjoyed those good old times of freedom, however... I'm not sure they are possible any more in big cities, and it is not easy either in small villages like the one I live in.

Patricia


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Dave Greatrix  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:49
Dutch to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Not so sure....... Jun 3, 2003

Patricia Posadas wrote:

Also, as mentioned by some colleagues the world has changed, it has become less safe: increase of child abuse, kidnapping, urban criminality, drugs, etc.

Letting my children go out for a ride or to the beach, or to the cinema with their friends, without me or any other adult, has been the most difficult thing in their education so far!

I enjoyed those good old times of freedom, however... I'm not sure they are possible any more in big cities, and it is not easy either in small villages like the one I live in.

Patricia


Rest assured. I was raised in the city of Gloucester, (of Fred and Rose West) in the fifties and sixties. Take it from me, child abuse has always been there, but it was always "brushed under the carpet". Writing or broadcasting items on child abuse was taboo in those days. I would argue that kids have a far greater degree of protection nowadays than they did years ago. I also live in Spain, and the tourists from the UK can't believe it when they see the children playing in the parks until way past midnight during the summer months.


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sylvie malich
Germany
Local time: 14:49
German to English
David, you took the words right out of my mouth/keyboard Jun 3, 2003

David Greatrix wrote:

Take it from me, child abuse has always been there, but it was always "brushed under the carpet". Writing or broadcasting items on child abuse was taboo in those days. I would argue that kids have a far greater degree of protection nowadays than they did years ago. I also live in Spain, and the tourists from the UK can't believe it when they see the children playing in the parks until way past midnight during the summer months.


My goodness, you are so right! Who says kids were safer then. Statistics? Humbug. Who says there was no child abuse and drugs and alcohol. It was all there and has always been there and not since the fifties either if you've read your history books.

And I think because of the environment of awareness that our kids are being raised in now they have a much better chance of surviving any of it. I am wondering why a generation that was raised with so much physical freedom is now "coddling" and "caging" their children out of fear?

Where did this fear come from? I have a suspicion it's mass hysteria. In Canada where I come from and where the crime rate is low, the fear is equivalent to the fear I've seen in the US.

I've asked parents about why they escort their children everywhere. The answer? Because everybody else does it and if I don't do the same they will think we don't care.

And what about this "they could hurt themselves" fear? A set of parents in my American circle of friends FORBIDS their child to borrow my kid's kickboard. Another child is afraid to go tobogganing because "I could break my arm". This same child is being raised in front of selected videos because, after all, nothing can happen to them in front of the TV set.

We are raising a generation of kids who are afraid. How will our grandchildren turn out?


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