[PERSONAL NOTE: I am abashed, pleased and shyly proud to read the lovely things Doc Searls says on his blog about Time Goes By. Sometimes a simple thank you is inadequate and words are just useless.]
My friend, Rick Gillis, sent me what follows here. It has undoubtedly been making the email rounds for years and you’ve probably already seen it. But I hadn’t, I like it and it feels like it deserves a permanent place on Time Goes By:
First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they carried us. They took aspirin, ate bleu cheese dressing and didn't get tested for diabetes.
Then after that trauma, our baby cribs were covered with bright-colored, lead-based paints. We had no child-proof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets, and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets, not to mention the risks we took hitchhiking.
As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags. Riding in the back of a pick up on a warm day was always a special treat. We drank water from the garden hose and not from a water bottle. We shared one soft drink with four friends from one bottle. And no one died from this.
We ate cupcakes, bread and butter, and drank soda pop with sugar in it, but we weren't overweight because we were always outside playing. We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on. No one was able to reach us all day. And we were okay.
We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride down the hill only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem.
We did not have Playstations, Nintendos, X-Boxes, no video games at all. No 500 TV channels on cable, no DVD movies, no surround sound, no cell phones, no personal computers, no internet or internet chat rooms. We had friends. We went outside and found them.
We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth, and there were no lawsuits from these accidents.
Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that. We made up games with sticks and tennis balls and ate worms, and although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes, nor did the worms live in us forever.
We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them. The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law.
This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever. The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas. We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all.
And you are one of them.