Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Cousin Elise and the email circuit

Elise is a younger cousin of mine, one of about 30 cousins that I grew up with on my mom's side of the family. We cousins would get together for just about all of the holidays, sometimes birthdays, and just-because.

Elise is a bit gullible, but a good communicator. I don't hear from many counsins these days, yet hardly a day goes by that I don't receive some kind of urgent email communication from Elise looking out for my best interests. Usually, its in the form of a email that begins with "SEND THIS TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW!!", "BILL GATES WILL GIVE YOU $10,000 FOR FORWARDING THIS EMAIL", 'HOW TO DELETE THIS VIRUS FROM YOUR COMPUTER," "HELP THIS CHILD LIVE!" "SEE PICTURES OF THE STRANGE DEEP SEA CREATURES FROM THE TSUNAMI." etc.

Thanks to Elise, I've become a big fan of a website called www.snopes.com. Snopes is a great place to debunk urban myths and hoaxes. By the time Elise forwards me the latest amazing pictures of UFO's, I go out to snopes and learn that this email has been making the rounds for the past four years.

Today, however, Elise forwarded an email that struck a cord with me. It speaks to middle aged folks, like me and Elise, who grew up as kids in the 70's. A bit of a stroll down memory lane, at a time when memory was measured in years rather than megabytes.

My appologies if this is the 20th time you've seen this....

TO ALL THE KIDS WHO SURVIVED the 1930's 40's, 50's, 60's and 70's!
First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they carried us. They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, and mercury laden tuna from a can, and didn't get tested for diabetes.

Then after that trauma, our baby cribs were covered with bright colored lead-based paints. We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets, not to mention, the risks we took hitchhiking.

As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags. Riding in the back of a pickup on a warm day was always a > special treat. We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle. We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank soda pop with sugar in it, but we weren't overweight because WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING!

We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on.No one was able to reach us all day. And we were O.K.

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of slivery wood scraps and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem.

We did not have Playstations, Nintendo's, X-boxes, no video games at all, no 99 channels on cable, no video tape movies, no surround sound, no cell phones, no personal computers, no Internet or Internet chat rooms....instead, WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them! We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents.

We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, made up games with sticks and tennis balls and although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes.

We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them!

When we had it coming, our parents would spank our butts, so we learned that not listening to our parents had consequences.

Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that! The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law!

This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever!The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas. We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we we survived it all.

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