Saturday, February 25, 2012
Was the world really a safer place for children in past generations? Maybe and maybe not.
In the 1940s and 50s when I was a kid everyone went out and played without adult supervision and it was considered normal to get skinned knees and even broken arms. That was just an ordinary part of childhood. Once I got knocked out for a few minutes playing Red Rover at recess and went back to class when the bell rang. That game was forbidden from then on but nobody called my mother or suggested I get medical attention.
Back then we heard about people using illegal drugs in New York City, but nothing like that happened in most of our country. And street gangs were only in the big cities and usually confined to the slums.
Once in a while a child of someone rich and famous might get kidnapped and held for ransom, but ordinary kids didn't need to fear being kidnapped.
And, while driving, most people obeyed the speed limits and stopped for pedestrians, although there were some reckless drivers.
But some things simply weren't talked about.
We had a neighbor who was arrested. The story of his arrest was in the newspaper, but nobody mentioned to us kids what he had done and when he was due to be released from prison his wife and children left the area and changed their name.
There were probably a lot of incidents like that. Abuse in families was simply not discussed in public.
Yes, I guess things were probably safer for kids in those days, but it's a shame today's kids don't have the freedom we had.