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Pumpernickel was the most foreign thing around the neighborhood back in my childhood days. A salted Frito was the a vanguard chip and guacamole remained a word hard to pronounce or spell. Now? That long ago time resides on the far side of a poorly mark rut in the road of life.

Certainly, I grew up in a part of America awash in feel good innocence. Then, it was a time of hope for those who lived under the disappearing shadow of World War II. We were the champions of the free world; the winners.

Grandpa was proud of his four boys who all fought in WW II (Dad is second from left.)

Flash: think no computers, no cordless phones of any kind, no internet, no chat, no what’s up, no what’s anything but for phones in phone booths or in homes that featured a brand new item: a tube TV  with about 3 to 13 channels. Now, I wonder what we all did all day?

Morality was a given…

Every kid knew to cross their fingers if they were going to lie; every guy knew girls were not only softer than boys, but annoyingly smarter as well. Still, none of us perceived a battle of the sexes or a societal wrong that had to be righted. Heck no, elementary school years were filled with just people—guys I palled around with and girls I was thinking about getting to know.

Things started to change in Junior High. (1960ish). The fall out of line and get hung out to dry clicks appeared. Guys and gals mostly formed into three groups: the hoods, the sport rats and the way smart what’s up with that group.

Now, the hoods were bad people because some of them smoked cigarettes and they often wore black shirts. (Really not kidding, and I could almost add, they chewed gum in school) The sport rats, the group I belonged to, never smoked cigarettes and we wore saddle shoes.

Clearly, these huge differences were cause for great concern and animosity. Oddly this huge division between the Hoods and Sport Rats meant the gals had to decide which group to belong to and those lines once drawn rarely, if ever, changed through High School. I once ,’hit it off,’ with a gal from the hoods in history class and we became fast buddies. But, when I suggested a soda, she told me, terrified, “Oh no, I could never do that. My group would go nuts. Plus, you don’t know what I do.” So, I realized she smoked cigarettes….sad.

It was an innocent time compared to the likes of today.

Of course, I was young, free to smell the dandelions as I ran across our neighbors’ yard. I was free to imagine that near about everything America stood for and did was good and right. I was free of a bombardment of contraptions that now give us real-time access to things that are happening beyond our sight!

Please, if you are semi-young, like under 40, Imagine this: there was no news until the six o’clock T.V. broadcast; there was no minute-by-minute news of your friends, no daily breaking political sirens. Even the stock market could rally or crash without a peep until evening. Every thing, every day, was on hold until evening. People went to work without worry or care about daily events until nighttime, until they’d gone home and had a cocktail, a smoke or rest.

In many ways, the multitasking, tied to your smart phone generation is cursed with too much information.

Call me old fashion? Maybe try hiking or camping and leaving, God forbid, your smart phone at home. There’s a world waiting for you to discover, one I grew up in, a world of be here now without interruption from things you can’t change anyway.  There’s a world of freedom waiting for you but for one thing: you can’t put that smart phone down.

If the world today were to sculpt a representative statue of Mankind it wouldn’t be, The Thinker.

No, it would be a person looking down at their smart phone or taking a, ‘Selfie.’

The interactions that sooo many studies show are healthy for us—the eye contact, the smiles, the greetings—are now lost to bent heads looking at smart phones…

No, I’m not old fashion: I’m right. Put your phone down for at least one day per week and see how many eyes look your way. The worlds’ presence will once again be yours to see, and it is amazing.

Franque23 dares you to do it…

Simply amazing.

 

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