The "Good Old Days"? Not for Me!
A Word of Encouragement from Elizabeth Handford
You understand, I had a very happy childhood, even if I did grow up in Texas during the terrible 30's depression and the dust bowl. Times were very hard, but we had lots of joy in our home. But I don't pine for those days. I like too many of today's luxuries.
And believe me, you'd think air conditioners were a luxury, too, if you'd tried to sleep at night when the temperature was 107 degrees. The sheets were hot to the touch, but you had to sleep under sheets to keep the mosquitos from biting.
Washing dishes was always a messy chore, since globs of grease floated on the dishwater, unconquered by the Ivory soap we used. I count detergents a major luxury.
And what a luxury refrigerators are! In the "good old days," the ice man delivered to your ice box 50 or 75 pounds of ice each morning. But woe to be to the little girl who forgot when it was her turn to empty the drip pan under the ice box. The next morning the kitchen floor would be covered with melted ice water.
Rachel Carson hadn't written "Silent Spring" yet, but we didn't know anything about pesticides. We were too busy swatting flies and scratching chigger bites and trying to remove ticks intact.
We endured whooping cough and measles and polio and other terrible contagious diseases when I was growing up because there were few immunizations available. There were no antibiotics to control strep and staph infections. No, I don't pine for the "good old days" -
- Except that I so wish children could stand in the class room and say the pledge of allegiance to the flag, and sing "My Country 'Tis of Thee." I wish their hearts could be stirred by the stories of faithfulness and bravery of the people who fought to protect this precious country of ours.
And I wish that the ethical standards we were taught as children could still be taught to children today without its being said we were being "hateful." I wish people knew it is wrong to murder, and bear false witness, and slander someone, and covet what belongs to somebody else. I wish that dads and moms would be faithful to each other and love each other and their children. I wish parents could teach their children right from wrong and not be considered judgmental by those who call good evil and evil good.
To a culture similar to ours, the prophet Jeremiah preached what God told him to preach:
So now the LORD says,
"Stop right where you are!
Look for the old, godly way, and walk in it.
Travel its path, and you will find rest for your souls."
"But you reply, ‘No, that's not the road we want!'" Jeremiah 7:16
The people responded then just as too many people in our culture today answer. But they have not found "rest for their souls," either.
Yes, I'm in favor of progress, when it really is progress. But I also believe that some values and moral standards are neither modern nor old-fashioned, but of eternal importance and ignored to our infinite hurt.