We turn on the television, and the whole world is brought into view. We can communicate instantaneously by text, tweets and email to anyone near or far. We no longer have to wait for the mail to be delivered to receive the precious pictures of our children or loved ones thousands of miles away. Our cellphones are our constant companion, and we are readily alerted to any great good or bad news from family and friends.
But wait. Have we lost the art of talking and listening to each other? It seems we are harried by the technology that was supposed to make our lives easier. When did we stop visiting each other? When did we stop and share our joys and sorrows on a personal one to one basis? Have we given up too much?
Remember when every neighborhood or community had relatives living within walking distance. A child coming from school did not go home to an empty house. If momma was not home, grandma, Aunt Mary or cousin Sarah was nearby. They would surely look after the child until momma came home. The same would be done for their children.
If momma was having a problem, she could walk over to a friend or relative and discuss her dilemma over a cup of coffee or tea. Most problems would not be solved, but the ability to talk it out would be helpful. She usually would leave feeling better and able to cope with the problem she faced. Today, it is a visit to a psychiatrist’s office and a drug of the month would be dispensed.
Other things come to mind that have changed. Most of us walked to school daily. Rain, sleet or snow, we went. There were no snow days. We never missed school unless we had a fever. A mother’s lips to her child’s forehead was a surefire thermometer.
Upon reflection, we can look back and recall some of the things that no longer exist. Rituals, customs and ordinary daily instances we experienced as we grew up are just cherished memories now. I know I have witnessed many changes the 84 years of my life. Others that were so precious in the past have left me sad and longing. I realize now how important it is to leave behind memories that should warm others who will follow.