The good old days

Ever feel like you are an old soul that should have lived a generation or two (or three) in the past?  This is not something that comes to my mind much, but life just threw a couple things at me that made me think of it.  So, while the passenger in a car traveling south to watch my child compete in the Bands of America Grand National Marching Band Championships, there is time to whip out my laptop and reflect.

Today while commuting and listening to NPR, there was a very interesting story about the 150 Year Chocolate War.  The delightful lady being interviewed  on The Diane Rehm Show was a writer who had just finished a book on the subject, and a descendant of the Cadbury family.  She talked about the history of chocolate and of all the players in the industry over the last 150+ years.  Now, while much of her story was from many generations ago, the reason this ties in with the topic here is that she talked about the Quaker-like approach to business that was taken by the Cadbury family.  How it was considered improper to advertise for fear of getting the interests of the company ahead of the product itself.  I was thinking that they must have believed that relying on word of mouth was the only way to market their goods.  The entire Cadbury organization was built on the notion that business must support all who worked for the company as well as anyone they were related to and the entire rest of the surrounding community.  Amazing.

What it must have been like to have lived in a time such as that.  At one point, the Cadbury family built an entire city to serve and support the interests of those individuals connected to the business in one way or another, and the city was full of any amenity that you could think of.  Further, it supported the sick, the old and educated the young.  Incredible.

What have we learned in all these years that has brought us to the point we are at.

So, the second thing that happened today was as we were departing for Indianapolis and the Lucas Oil Stadium.  All loaded up, packed and then an emergency call from Indiana had us making a quick stop by the high school for some items left by other students that would be needed this weekend – would teenagers really forget to bring their heads if they were not attached???  We hit the road, but stopped for some takeout for lunch and as we were walking out to the car we saw a woman pull into the Starbucks next door, jump out and walk in to get a coffee.  Not unusual, except that her car was running and that made me take a second look.  Someone could have easily taken the car in the business of the late lunch hour.  Odd to see anyone do that in the city anymore, and as I looked at her nice, brand new automobile I saw the baby in the car seat in the back of the car.

That stopped me dead in my tracks.  How could anyone do that?  It has not been even 3 months since the last two stories about babies left in cars.  one was stolen with the baby still in the car, and the other died in the late summer due to the heat.  We were on a tight timetable and needed to leave, but I felt compelled to stay until the owner came out of the coffee shop and back to her vehicle.  As she casually walked out after having left her child in the car for nearly 5 minutes, she was confused by my stare as she obviously thought nothing of what she had done.  Amazing.

Very few people leave a running vehicle unattended anymore.  Few homeowners leave without locking up anymore.  I have talked with those in the rural areas over the years that said they never lock their doors – almost stating so with a sense of pride that they still lived in a piece of America that was safe where they did not need to be so careful.

What it must have been like to have lived generations ago, where everyone could leave a baby to enjoy the warmth of a sunny afternoon in the back of their vehicle (or buggy) while they picked up a few sundries and the mercantile.

It is too bad, really.  Those good old days are mostly gone.  Artwork is nailed down in restaurants because if it is not nailed down someone will take it to hang in their own house.  Bikes are chained to rails because if they are not locked up someone will ride them away even though their name (or brand like on a horse) is clearly visible.  People that work for companies have to be diligent and help to push legislation to protect themselves because corporate greed have many CEO’s making decisions that will only benefit them and no one else.  And the worst of all, is that in many areas of the country we have lost that sense of community where we look out for each other to the point where if we left our child for a few minutes it would be perfectly safe.

It is sad that my first thought was for the welfare of this child.  The only comfort for me was that I stood by and waited for the mother to return so that in case someone else decided the car looked enticing there would be someone to step in.  Well, maybe not all hope is lost – there are still a few Boy Scouts out there.  Now, if we could just get some Eagle Scouts or old souls running Wall Street, Congress, and our judicial system I think we might just have a chance to get back some of the good from those old days.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Life Lessons, Misc, Parenting

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