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The Greatest Generation
By: Katrina  |  January 1, 2006

I found the following on my MySpace bulletin list earlier:

Today's Drug Problem

The other day, I read that a methamphetamine lab had been foundin an old farm house in

a nearby county and asked a buddy ofmine a rhetorical question, "Why didn't we have a drug problem when you and I were growing up?" Here is his reply:

"I did have a drug problem when I was a kid growing up. I was drug to church on Sunday morning. I was drug to church for weddings and funerals. I was drug to family reunions and community socials no matter the weather. I was drug by my ears when I was disrespectful to adults. I was also drug to the woodshed when I disobeyed, told a lie, brought home a bad report card, did not speak with respect, spoke ill of the teacher or the preacher, or if I didn't put forth my best effort in everything that was asked of me. I was drug to the kitchen sink if I uttered a profane word. (I do know what soaptastes like.) I was drug out to pull weeds in mom's garden and flower beds and mow the grass, take out the trash, and clean upafter the family. I was drug to the homes of Family, Friends,and neighbors to help out some poor soul who had no one to mow the yard, fix their deck, or chop some fire wood. If my mother had ever known that I took a single dime as a tip for this kindness, she would have drug me back to the woodshed! Those drugs are still in my veins; and they affect my behavior in everything I do, say, and think. They are stronger than cocaine, crack or heroin, and if today's children had this kindof drug problem, America might be a better place today."

And, my good sir, I feel I must reply to such a statement. I admit I do grow weary of and rather offended by constantly hearing from my elders that I and the rest of my generation are all inherently spoiled, drug-taking, rebellious, lazy troublemakers, no matter how hard we work, no matter how much good we do for our families, friends, communities, and world, no matter how very responsible we are. However, you raise an interesting point about your very many "drugs" and your assertion that in the days that what you describe were more commonplace, America was generally better. I don't know how old you are, so I'm just going to make a guess, but here's the America that used to be SO much better than today.

-Schools, buses, churches, and just about everything else in the country was segregated.

-Women, except during WWII and all, were forbidden or at least highly discouraged from holding jobs.

-Very, very little, if anything, fell under the category of child abuse.

-Pregnant high school girls were automatically forbidden to attend school.

-Dr. Charles Drew died because he was denied a necessary, life-saving blood treatment that HE invented, simply because he was black.

-It was weird for women to wear pants.

-Peoples' entire careers and lives were absolutely ruined for the sole purpose that someone else suspected they were communists.

-Countless common medical procedures, thought to be good, were harming more people than they were helping.

-In the "greatest generation" of freedom-loving Americans, it was considered wrong for female issues, including labor and childbirth, to be discussed around men, and for men to utter a swear word if a woman is present.

-Many people seriously believed rock n roll was Satanic.

-A woman was considered at fault if she got raped.

-Children's genuine learning disabilities were pegged misbehavior, so they were disciplined as such.

-It was perfectly okay, in the United States, for a doctor to perform a genital mutilation procedure on a little girl whose parents requested it.

-It was a normal thing for mentally handicapped children and adults to be locked away in a cellar or attic and neglected.

-There were still lots of drugs, sexual misconduct, and violence everywhere, but that fact was gently swept under a rug all the time, so all the good at-home family folks wouldn't have a reason to think anything in their happy country was wrong.

So, yes, please, by all means, let's return to the good old days.

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