According to today’s regulators and bureaucrats, those of us who were kids in the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s probably shouldn’t have survived . . .
- Our baby cots were covered with brightly coloured lead-based paint that was promptly chewed and licked
- We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles or latches on doors or cabinets and it was fine to play with pans
- When we rode our bikes, we wore no helmets, just flip flops and had fluorescent ‘clackers’ on our wheels. We rode in packs of seven or eight and wore our coats by only the hood
- As children, we would ride in cars with no seatbelts or airbags. Riding in the passenger seat was a treat
- We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle (tasted the same!). We ate dripping sandwiches, bread and butter pudding and drank fizzy pop with sugar in it, but we were never overweight because we were always outside playing
- We shared one drink with four friends, from one bottle or can, and no one actually died from this
- We would spend hours building go-carts out of scraps and then went to speed down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into stinging nettles a few times, we learned to solve the problem
- We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back before it got dark. No one was able to reach us all day (no, you couldn’t even text us) and no one minded
- We did not have Playstations, Wii’s or X-Boxes – no video games at all. No 300 channels on TV, no DVD’s or Blu-Ray movies, no streaming, no surround sound, no mobile phones, no computers or tablets, no Internet, no social media. We had friends – we went outside and found them. We played elastics and street rounders, and sometimes that ball really hurt
- We fell out of trees, got cut and broke bones and teeth, and there were no lawsuits. They were accidents. We learnt not to do the same thing again
- We had fights, punched each other hard and got black and blue – we learned to get over it
- We walked to friends’ homes. We made up games with sticks and tennis balls and ate live stuff, and although we were told it would happen, we did not have very many eyes out, nor did the live stuff live inside us forever
Our actions were our own. Consequences were expected. The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke a law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law. Imagine that . . .