There are so many good things in the world and so many more that haven’t been revealed yet. That being said, we’re in that roughly one month time period between Thanksgiving (…in the U.S.) and Hanukkah, Christmas and New Years when traditions play such a huge part in our lives. As I started thinking about some of those traditions, it became sadly apparent that we’re losing some parts of them and some other parts of the rest of our lives as well. So, that’s how I got to where we are now. Gregg
Our memories are a tricky thing, aren’t they? It seems they work one of two ways, we can either forget or lose memories inadvertently (The memories fade away or we loose track of them or a physical situation such as Alzheimer’s or some other mental condition.)or we can choose to forget for a myriad of reasons. (Including boredom or lack of stimulation) What I’m talking about here is the latter. Choosing to allow some people, places and/or things to fade away.
I understand all our lives are different but I’m afraid that we as friends as well as a society might be losing more than we bargained for.
So what am I talking about? Here’s a quick look at just some that come to mind.
Let’s start small. Cursive handwriting is something many of us have grown up with. I just found my original Social Security card from when I was 13 years old. There, scrawled out in perfect cursive handwriting is my name. Mrs. Carnahan, my 1st grade teacher would be so proud! (No, I wasn’t still in 1st grade when I was 13! 1st grade was when we really began learning how to write in cursive handwriting.) Technology seems to be a main cause here. There are states that require cursive handwriting to be taught but sadly, it looks like technology is winning the race.
Civility definitely belongs on the list. Take a look at the political scene. It’s bad and getting worse recently. Next time you’re at a fast food place, watch what the counter help and see what they have to put up with on their minimum wage shifts.
Every year cars and trucks have change after change. Now it seems that in the not too distant future, Gasoline engines might be on that endangered list. As is the case with most things in life, it can be either viewed as good or bad. This one, I chalk up to be a good thing.
I mentioned technology earlier. Technology might also be behind the decline of people actually speaking to other people! It almost sounds like I might be making a joke here. I’m not. It’s so much easier now to use a text or hop on line even for a major purchase or purpose. Sometimes that works but other times a simple phone call or a trip to the store might help us find the right dimensions or answer questions we might not even know we need to ask. If we start not speaking to others in these situations, the projected path goes in a scary direction.
I don’t know about you but I love to look through Catalogs, especially this time of year. Sure, you can hop on line but for me, it just isn’t the same as flipping through the pages or “rabbit earring” a few with your favorite items on them.
We’ve seen both local and national Newspapers take a beating for some time. I love my iPhone, iPad, etc… but for me there is something to feeling a paper between your hands. Hearing the pages rustle and of course teaching your kids and/or grandkids how to use Silly Putty on the Sunday comics!
If you spend any time dealing with life, people, traffic, logic and many, many more situations, Common sense seems to be, to say the least, rare! You know, it doesn’t seem far fetched that we could or maybe should teach a class in common sense in elementary and/or high school. Just a thought.
Christmas caroling and maybe Christmas carols all together might be disappearing. Here’s one of our great traditions that have been trimmed way back. When’s the last time you went went caroling? For most of us, it’s been a while. You can probably count the number of new Christmas or Hanukkah songs on one hand.
And that leads me right into an example that really distressed me. Remembering the special people, places and things from years past (Sports, Entertainment, Patriots, buildings, landmarks, etc… or even our own ancestors) seems to be disappearing right before our eyes. There are generations who don’t know who Tinker to Evers to Chance is talking about. Some don’t remember who Jim Thorpe or Brian Piccolo or Willis Reed or Viktor Alexeyev are. Some can’t remember Nat King Cole, Burl Ives, Karen Carpenter or Arthur Fiedler are. Some have forgotten the name of that building in the place where that thing happened. Can you name any of the men depicted in the rising of the flag in Iwo Jima? Do the names Commander Richard Marcinko, Captain James Stewart or Major Clark Gable or General Anna Mae Violet Hays ring a bell?
Some of the things I’ve mentioned might be tied together in some instances. (ie… the internet, cell phones, etc…) In some instances they stand alone. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for change and technology and using them to their fullest. I’m just not for throwing away some important, comfortable and key cogs in the machinery of our lives, country and history.
That’s why I’m asking all of us to be aware of the people, places and things that might be disappearing.
Talk to our families ABOUT our families. Talk to them about our mom’s, dad’s and the funny and sad and even the commonplace things from the past. Embrace the traditions of the past but also add onto them and make them your own. Then pass those along and hopefully they’ll do the same.
Finally, time steals enough from us, let’s not give it even more power over our lives. Talk to others about what you think is important and ask them about what is important from their past. Listen, compare and then mold a new future together.
I know this edition is much longer than our normal get togethers. I thought it was important to talk about. After reading it, I hope you did too.