Growing Up Isn’t Easy
Published: 20 July 2010
I’m always hear from those getting up in their years that “getting old isn’t for sissies,” or that getting old is “pure misery.”
My standard answer is that growing up wasn’t easy, either. For those of you in between, life is good, you’re not saying much, or you’re just too busy to think or comment about it.
About the only thing I’m sure of is that we’re all getting older – get over it – and I sure wouldn’t want to be a kid these days – even though at times my wife says I’m still growing up. I’m not saying it’s a bad time to grow up, but as every generation gets older they each look at the day’s current issues and say, “I wouldn’t want to be a kid growing up nowadays.” But then, they’ve said that since Adam and Eve.
I have a lot of respect for the good parents today. Even though there are numerous new gadgets to play with, and lots of new learning tools for parents, the stress and pressure of being a child and then a teenager are enormous. There have always been obstacles to staying as pure as the driven snow, but in today’s world there just seems to be more avenues to lead kids into trouble. I think the pressures on kids now are a lot harder.
The safest place for young kids has always been with a good parent who has a good book to read to them, and it’s still the same today. My wife is a first grade teacher, and the horror stories about misled kids, and the parents who should have never chosen to become parents, are there in force. Some parents even say it’s solely the teachers’ responsibility to educate their child. Because of that their child will be behind in school for all their learning years. For some kids today, life will be unfair from the start.
In many families today both parents need to work to make ends meet, while other families rely on a single parent struggling to stay afloat. Good parents most always come through, and their kids understand responsibilities, which everyone says is the key. For the most part, rural kids understand responsibilities, which helps them all their lives. That and having a work ethic are the secrets to success.
4H and FFA programs, and their activities, are great ways to teaching responsibility. That is one reason rural kids, and others who are members of the organizations, turn into leaders as they grow up. I knew of one manager who was very successful in his business, and when asked what his secret was he exclaimed he only hired farm or ranch kids because they know how to work, and work until the job is done.
At the other end of life, most rural people don’t retire at 65 years, or ever retire. For many reasons they work longer in life than other occupations. I think that’s good, as kids will always make mistakes and turn them into experience, and older people have been there, and done that, and are great teachers. Age is a just a high price to pay for maturity.