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"Remember When": Remembering the better times and lost values of yesterday...

Remember when children would play outdoors for hours, drink water from the water hose, and chase the ice cream truck like their lives depended on it? You could always tell which house held the neighborhood kids by the dozens of bikes left on the front lawn. There were no cell phones, but that was never a problem, because the community was a family and looked out for one another.

Remember when Saturday mornings were for a bowl of your favorite cereal and cartoons? The television stations ended each day by midnight with the National Anthem, and neighborhood parents respected each other and actually disciplined their children.

Remember when children brought apples to school for their teachers? There was no "chewing gum" in class, and “texting” was passing folded notes to your friend on the other side of the classroom through your peers when the teacher wasn’t looking. (By the way, it was an unwritten code that no one opened and read your notes either.)

Remember when profanity meant having your mouth washed out with soap?

Remember when an empty soda pop bottle could be cashed in for 5 cents? My brother and I would round them up, load them on a red wagon, and haul them to the nearby store for penny candy.

Remember when $5.00 bought you two movie tickets, popcorn, and drinks with change to spare? Teenagers hung out at the roller rink or the nearby tavern, drank chocolate malts instead of alcohol, and listened to their favorite songs on a jukebox. They held summer and after school jobs and learned to respect the value of a hard-earned dollar.

Remember when Sunday was for a day of worship, spending time with your family, and doing good for others? All stores were closed for business, except for 711 of course, and people greeted one another with “sir” and “ma’am”.

Remember when looking your best was a sign of self-respect? Men wore suits, buttoned-up shirts, and ties while women wore dresses, pearls, and their favorite shade of lipstick, even just to go the store. You wouldn’t be caught dead in church, or a courtroom, dressed in jeans and a t-shirt. Children were raised to respect their elders and were sent to mow their neighbor’s lawn during the summer or shovel the snow in winter.

Remember when gentlemen held the doors for women, and ladies allowed them with much gratitude and respect?

Remember when the neighborhood police officer was named “Officer Friendly”? He/she was respected in the community and wore their badge with honor to protect and serve.

Remember when integrity was more than just a word?

I can remember these things and so much more. What happened to all these traditional values? Where did our love for self and community go? What happened to good manners? What happened to our sense of accountability?

As I sit here and write this post, I am deeply saddened. I feel so much sorrow in my heart that our planet and love for humanity is slowly fading away. All that was good is now being replaced by greed, power, and the need for control.

We all need to stop blaming each other for all the "wrong" in the world and start looking within ourselves to make it "right". The first step to change begins with US.

If we do not rear up our children with the old traditional values, morals, and virtues of yesterday, there will be no more tomorrow.

No more peace. No more love. No more respect. There will be no more HUMANITY.

But if each of us starts right now, here and today, one day we won’t have to say,

Remember when…


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