Dec. 30, 2008: Generation gap reveals the truth

in

To The Editor:
I was born before radio, television, penicillin, flue shots, or the pill. There was no radar, credit cards, laser beams, ballpoint pens, computers, TV, dishwashers, clothes dryers, cell phones, frozen foods, or air conditioners and man hadn’t walked on the moon.
My wife and I got married first and then lived together. Every family had a father and a mother, and there was no need for daycare centers and group therapy. Our lives were governed by the Ten Commandments and the Golden Rule, good judgment and common sense. We were taught to know the difference between right and wrong and to stand up and take responsibility for our actions.
When compared to the present generation, it is not hard to understand why many see us as “old and confused” and blame the generation gap. Tech- nology has changed. Morals have changed. Education has changed. Crime rates have changed. Drug use has changed. Personal responsibility has changed. Even personal liberty has changed.
To a person such as I, whose lifetime spans those enormous changes, those changes have not been for the better. I do not view the increasing rate of irresponsibility, licentious, disease, broken homes, blatant greed, corruption, and acceptance (tolerance) of all which destroys the community fabric of a society, as “progress.” The so-called single-parent family is a misnomer because every child needs a two-parent home.
No classroom is a better environment than the home. At home we are surrounded by our family. This then is the best place to absorb the values of a people. There you learned the work ethic where each one was expected to pull their own weight. Where honesty was the norm. Where you were proud of your family no matter the current economic state. You went to school and learned reading, writing and arithmetic. You learned respect for those older then you and you met and mixed with others that were like you and shared the same values.
Women were treated with deference and manners were expected by all. No one thought that it was his neighbor’s duty to support him or that the country owed you a living. “It’s not whether you win or lose but how you play the game” is a concept uniquely fitted to my generation.
The popular adoration and God-like homage accorded to sports mercenaries, who have no loyalty but to the dollar, is an indication of the shallowness of ones beliefs. We know not what lies beyond the next bend in the road but one thing is certain: if we choose not to believe that the present rot is a signal for our demise, then we indeed are own worst enemy.
These days the word freedom is a thing of very dubious interpretation. The Founding Fathers thought and spoke in terms of liberty, not freedom. They defined liberty as freedom to do things for themselves without much intervention by government. Shortsighted greed is no different than stupidity.

Stuart E Buswell,
Margaretville