I am going to ask each of you to look at things a little differently for the next week. Actually it is a sort of challenge, a dare if you will.
I am going to ask you to really think about how you treat those older than yourselves. Not only the 80 year old great grandma figure that shuffles with a walker... but those who are your parents age or older and I will tell you why.
When you think I am not looking I see you roll your eyes, I hear that long drawn out sigh that tells me louder than words what you think of anyone "over 30". (ok... I am way over 30.. there I said it! :)) It hurts my heart when I hear those comment about "what does she know". Believe it or not... I have probably been there and done that more often than you have.
I remember the day and time when John F Kennedy (he was the president of the USA for those kids out there who don't know it) was assassinated. I saw the country go into mourning.. and to this day I still feel the pain of it.
I was there when Martin Luther King was assasinated. Another day that pushed many of us into a 2nd mourning.
I was there when Robert Kennedy (who was running for president) was assassinated.
I was there when George Wallace (a bigot who was running for president) was shot and crippled for life.
I was there when man first landed on the moon... and I was there when Apollo nine was in trouble and the country held it's breath to see if they would live or die. (it was not just a movie)
I was there when people were killed at Kent State for standing up for their beliefs.
I was there when we were told to hide under our wooden desks in school in case of a nucler bomb. (I know... I think about that now and wonder what their reasoning was! :)) I lived in fear just like the rest of the country that Cuba would kill us all.
I was there when color TV's were introduced to households that could afford it. I remember Howdy Doody and Captain Kangaroo and the original Mickey Mouse Club (which was in black and white).
I was there when portable radios were first affordable.
I was there when soda pop was in a glass bottle, diapers were made of cloth, pants were not allowed for girls in public schools (dresses or skirts to or below the knee only), gas was 19 cents a gallon, and bread was made in the oven.
I was there when Starsky and Hutch, Star Trek (the original), Bewitched and Get Smart were weekly television series.
I was there when the Soviet Union was considered our enemy. My grandmother was Russian.. something I never found out until after she died... it was considered shameful to admit it.
I was there when typing class was done on a typewriter that didn't plug in and later when we got the first electric typewriters. I was there when home computers were first invented... and I was one of those people who wondered why anyone would want one in their homes.
I was there when we had a party line. This was a land line we shared with our neighbors who could listen in to our calls and vice versa.
I was there when "free love" drugs, booze and rock and roll were just starting with people under 30.
I was there when cable tv was made available, but not always affordable, and I was one of many who wondered why anyone would need more than 2 channels.
I was there when televison stations signed off at midnight with the commercial "do you know where your children are?" followed by the national anthem.
I was there when the Vietnam war was still going strong. I had 3 brothers there all at the same time. I heard the horror stories of napalm, agent orange... and worst of all how parents would strap bombs on their children and send them running to our soldiers.. and I cried.
I was there when the Challenger blew up.. and I cried.
I was there when we attacked Iraq the first time... and I cried.
I was there when Manson and his followers were in custody... and we wondered if he was crazy... or truly evil.
I was there when the people of Jonestown committed mass suicides.
I lived in a time before cell phones or other portable communication devices were even a thought. I lived in a time where the phone went unanswered because your visitors were more important.
When I was young I did things that you probably have never heard of to my body and my mind. I was a "wild child" who's best friends boyfriend was a dealer. You can guess where that is going. I was angry at the world... I did my share of fighting with both men and women.. but guns were never even thought of. I ran with a lot of other "wild children" and now I guess you would call it a gang. The worst thing we ever did to anyone else was key their car or put a paper bag of burning dog poop in their door step. Well.. there was that other thing.. but if I say it here.. someone will try it as well.. lets just say someone's had to do some major remodeling to their home. nuff said.
I am older than most of you... I have lived through major inventions, tragedies, horrors and happiness. I have seen the birth of children and the death of parent and siblings. I have rejoiced and I have grieved.
So the next time you roll your eyes and think "what does she know".. remember... we usually know a lot more than you ever will.