Saturday, March 19, 2016

Changing Times

Growing up in the 1950's,
I enjoyed a slower paced world.
Fathers worked all day.
Mothers were home,
and children had time to play.

Yes, woman had few career opportunities
and were totally dependant on their husbands for their support.
There was prejudice against Jews and Blacks,
nitrates and colorings in our food, and
DDT was seen as a heaven sent prevention for malaria.
We had to share our phone line with many people,
and clothes were dried outside on a clothesline.
Families had one car,
and colored TV was a green, yellow, and blue piece of plastic
taped to the front of the screen.

Our homes were small; a livingroom, kitchen, bathroom,
and two or three bedrooms.
Only the wealthy could afford lessons for their children,
or things like contact lenses or braces.
Vacations were trips to visit family.
Men provided for their families,
fixed things, tuned up cars, drove,
and relaxed with the family when they were home.
Living on his income, women
sewed clothes, cooked, baked, canned, gardened,
and still had time to volunteer at their church and PTA.

Now, we have a car for every driver,
a TV in every room (flat screen of course),
countless entertainment options,
several computers in our homes,
better pay and job opportunities for women,
better health care,
large beautifully furnished homes,
closets bulging with huge wardrobes,
garages and storage sheds crammed with excessive possessions,
and our children have many opportunities to develop their talents.

Having all of this are we happier now?
We certainly have more:
more things, more information, more house,
more technology, more entertainment,
and lots more debt.

But we also have less:
less time just to relax and rest,
less time to enjoy being together as a couple and as a family,
less time to enjoy reading, arts, and nature,
less time to raise our own children,
less savings for emergencies,
and far less time to serve others.

Foolishly, we have traded our time and energy
for piles of superfluous things,
forfeiting relationships in our quest
to acquire more and more,
vainly hoping to restore balance and closeness
to our frenzied lives
through a couple of luxurious vacation weeks each year.

Tired and exhausted,
modern couples struggle through their days.
Blindly believing that“Life is just busy”,
they disavow responsibility
for the choices they are making
as they squander
their short time here on earth
on things of no eternal value.

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