Ironic isn’t it?
Our grandchildren are growing up wearing protective helmets, seatbelts, and drinking bottled water. While we practiced riding our bikes without hands downhill, couldn’t find the seatbelt, and drank from the water a garden hose–in the hot sun. So what are we so afraid of?
Is the world really more dangerous for our grandchildren than it was when we were children?
That is a yes and no answer. Let me explain.
While many of us grew up in the 1950s and 1960s, it’s easy to think things were better then. But is that true?
- Do you remember your teacher crying because President John F. Kennedy had just been assassinated?
- I remember another teacher coming into our classroom, and they both burst out in tears as one tried to explain to us that Bobby Kennedy has been shot.
- Does the television images of Vietnam color your childhood memories?
- Were you, or your brother drafted?
- Did you have schoolmates, who were grieving the brother they lost in the war?
Yeah. Me too.
Remember when President Nixon came on television and announced that the government was expanding the war in Vietnam? The result was, that there would be an increase of 150,000 drafts to fill the boots needed.
That’s when things really got bad.
You might have been among the protesters. Who will ever forget the Kent state shootings? When twenty-eight national guardsmen, just kids themselves, open fire on the crowd of college students.
Four students died that day for exercising their freedom of speech. Nine were wounded. Reports say that just about five hundred colleges were incapacitated by protests at that time.
The official word was that is was an “unnecessary, unwarranted, and inexcusable” action.
Is it better today?
Yes. In many ways, it is when you come to think about it.
It wasn’t until just recently that we have had such violent race riots. Whether or not they are justified is a post for another day. But the truth is, our grandchildren don’t live in the tension we grew up in.
There is war, but there is not a draft. We see terrorism on the streets. But we don’t have to fear an army on our soil, as our grandparents did.
Every generation has a dangerous world to conquer. Look at the world our parents had to deal with. Maybe you’re like me, and your grandparents lived through the depression.
Without a doubt, our grandchildren will have a completely new set of dangers to navigate. At the same time, they will have better tools with which to use.
When it all comes down to it– isn’t that part of our role as grandparents? To assure them, that they are not living in a world without hope. That they were born, into this world at this very time and place–because they have a special purpose.