Saturday, February 11, 2012

Leaping Back to Simpler Times

I watched my brother as he lay in the hospital bed. A faint smile creased his face. After all the chemo he’d endured, I marveled as to how he could smile at all.

My mind wandered back to when we were kids, when the center of our universe revolved around innocence, laughter, and the love of family and friends.

Me, and my three amigos.

We played in reckless abandon, without fear of someone snatching us away, without worrying that bullets would fly at us from a random shooter. We hung out with our friends, yes, but we jumped rope, played kickball, softball, and more. During those times, we only stopped our activities for two reasons, one of them when a car approached.

The driver, usually a nearby neighbor, honked the horn as he came close. Like good soldiers, we cleared the deck, ran to the side of the road, and stood at attention. He slowed the car to a crawl. The only thing fired at us was a friendly smile, then the wave of his hand as he passed down the street. 

The second reason for aborting our mission was when our mother called us home for supper. Mothers stayed home with their children in those days, and families gathered around the kitchen table for a home-cooked meal. There weren’t any drive-thru restaurants. In fact, we considered going out for a hamburger a treat, not a dinnertime ritual.

Things sure have changed. Everyone seems to be in such a hurry these days.

But we’ve advanced, haven’t we?

In addition to fast food, we’ve taken great strides in the electronics industry, not to mention other areas, too numerous to list here, each step intended to make life easier, more efficient. But these modern conveniences have also taken away from our time, especially when it comes to children.

Social Media, designed to "connect" with others, is lacking some vital aspects—the sound of a voice, a shared laugh, a tender touch. Kids are even texting on their cell phones to each other as they sit in the same room. As a result, some of them have become disconnected, unable to socialize in a public setting. And it’s not just the children. The same thing is happening with adults.

Thank God for for modern medicine though. Without it, my brother might not be here.

My brother. Would our relationship have been the same if we had grown up in this new society? 

I turned to my sibling and smiled, thankful for memories of simpler times in the past. Although we’ve taken giant leaps, many of them a blessing, our time spent together can never be replaced.