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BEACON Senior News - Western Colorado

OPINION: Once upon a time life was wholesome

Apr 03, 2023 03:34PM ● By Laverne H. Bardy

I was watching an old ‘50s movie on Netflix, and wondered why this movie had been a favorite of mine for so many years. After thinking about it some more, I became acutely aware of what the attraction was. 

This movie was a perfect reflection of how our culture used to be. It was a clear reminder of my history: who I used to be, my influencers and the social mores of an earlier time. In the ’40s and ’50s, I remember life as tranquil, lighthearted and wholesome. 

Then I look at life today. So much has changed—very little with my approval. 

There isn’t much I can do other than accept it. Friends accuse me of being in a time warp when I express my preference for all things wholesome and principled. Maybe they’re right. I admit to being disappointed with humankind’s general lack of values. For decades I was clear on the difference between right and wrong, vulgar and refined, respectable and despicable. Today, the moral bar has been dropped so low, it rests comfortably at my feet.

Growing up, I learned that swearing was unacceptable and sex should not be casual. I was also told that I only had one chance to make a first impression, and I would be judged largely by my reputation. Therefore, if I cared, I should do my best to keep it pristine—and I cared. 

Today, there is little to no caring about one’s reputation because there is no shame or accountability.

When Elvis Presley appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show in the 1950s, my father made my younger brother and me leave the room because “That young man’s body gyrations are not acceptable for young eyes.” My father, no doubt, is dizzy from turning in his grave over what is going on today in movies, on TV and in real life.

How can we hope to keep our children wholesome and free from sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy when casual sex is a common occurrence on virtually every prime time show we watch? Courtship no longer exists. Today, it’s girl meets boy. Girl and boy go to dinner. Boy goes back to girl’s apartment where they rip off each other’s clothes. It’s no longer shocking because it’s so widely accepted. 

Bathing suits are so skimpy, there’s no way they can do battle with even the tiniest ripple of ocean water. Shorts are shorter and clothing is worn shredded. Suggestive messages are written on shirts and across the backside of pants. Today’s kids dress for school in sloppy outfits like I used to change into when I came home from school before I went out to play.

What I am is disheartened. I miss the subtleties and reassurance that came with wholesome living. 

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