A thoughtful post by Tynan:
Maybe everyone else also feels as though their generation is especially blessed, but I can’t help but think that mine really got the best deal around. In the less than 30 years I’ve been around, I’ve seen the invention of the cell phone, the computer, and the internet. Better than just witnessing it, these things came out when I was a curious teenager with a lot of free time to tinker.
The best part, though, is that none of these things were around when I was really young. I wasn’t allowed to watch TV, so I spent most of my childhood outdoors. Society wasn’t quite so skittish about, well, everything, so my friends, siblings, and I had free run of the neighborhood, which bordered a state park. I could call my friends (on landlines, of course), and go meet them at our fort in the woods, without even needing parental approval. We built things, raced around, and used our imaginations. In the winter we went into the woods to find the biggest hill and make jumps on it. In the summer we made fishing poles out of sticks and dug for worms to impale on the hooks we found near the water’s edge.
I’m not sure that kind of childhood really exists anymore. I know all too well how easy it is to get sucked into the internet and live vicariously rather than actively. Parents are so scared of everything that when I set my kids loose in the neighborhood, they might not have anyone to play with.
Maybe older generations would say the same thing about when they were kids. They certainly do tend to think of “back then” as some sort of golden age. Maybe kids now think feel like they’ve got it great. One thing is certain though: we live in a great time and it will never be like this again. Let’s enjoy it.
We truly do live in a time of tremendous change – both socially and technologically. Like Tyran, I too am thankful for when I was born and the changes I have seen. As I once wrote:
I don't remember my life as a child being anywhere near as frantic and "on the go" as families are today. My memories are of growing up in a loving home -- at home. Climbing the tree in the backyard, catching salamanders in the creek, riding my bike with the neighborhood kids, playing with Star Wars action figures, eating popcorn and watching the "Dukes of Hazzard" on Friday nights together as a family, etc. When I was really young, we'd even go on family tractor rides together -- we'd hitch the trailer to the back and Dad would pull Mom, Kevin and me around the yard. Life wasn't a flurry of activity, but it sure was fun! I will always look back to this with very fond memories.
I too feel blessed to have lived in a time with a childhood where I was free to play and run outdoors and in a time when my adulthood is surrounded by tremendous technological change. I am also thankful to have lived in a time where I had the chance to travel to much of the world before before airport security became so intrusive and so insane.
Like Trynan said, we live in a wonderful time and it won’t be like this again. Enjoy it!