Back to the future…
The virtual world we create with interactive video games, online chats, FaceBook and video streams, insulates us from all that exists beyond the confines of our humble abodes.
We hide behind screen names, email addresses, and text messages. Just the other day, I heard someone schedule “face-time” with someone. Seriously, are you really that busy, that self-absorbed, or just so overwhelmed that you’ve forgotten how to enjoy the simpler things in life?
Before we knew what face time and face-book were, we played outside and, as kids, we made friends the old-fashioned way – all by ourselves. We amused ourselves with books and things of a creative nature because on Saturday mornings after 11:30 there wasn’t anything worth watching. We looked forward to Sunday afternoons with Godzilla, Mathra, and best of all, Black Belt Theater. Now, with a remote control to change the channels( and picture in picture) we can watch two programs at once, record another, and cook entire meals in the microwave in 20 minutes or less.
Does anyone else remember when we drank from water hoses? Am I the only person who learned the hard way, that the first person to drink was usually scalded because initially the water was hot? When I wanted to pretend that my hair was really long – my jacket and/or sweater worked just fine. We didn’t have hair weaves – but we did have fun!
Once a week during the winter, we were given a tablespoon of Cod Liver Oil to keep illnesses at bay and, in the summer, we enjoyed the warmth, smell, and taste of vine ripened tomatoes with nothing more than table salt.
We collected glass bottles. We could take them to the stores and return them for ten cents each. We bought penny candy and looked forward to reading the comics that came out in the Sunday paper. We never threw the newspaper away. My mother’s secret to sparkling windows, was a little bit of vinegar, water, and crumpled up newspapers to dry them with. Fresh hand towels were hung in the bathroom and the only time I recall seeing a paper towel was when we passed by that section in the grocery store.
In the days of my youth, and, with little outside intervention, we learned about the importance of compost, wore hand-me-down clothes, learned how to resolve our differences ( rock – paper –scissors anyone), actually enjoyed many of the commercials that we now fast forward, and were taught how to be responsible for ourselves and our environment. Sadly, however, things have changed.
We are led to believe that, in order for the water we drink to be good for us, it must be purified and/or come in plastic bottles. We have hand-sanitizer and prepackaged peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. We must go to “organic” stores to buy fresh produce and now (for our convenience) many cleaning products come with pre-moistened, prepackaged paper cleaning towels.
We have become so environmentally friendly that we have now become toxic to ourselves.