Jim Ingebrigtsen
Is It Just Me…

I have a head full of old adages that seem to slip out of my mouth more often as I age. Someday they’ll all slip away when I slip away. A few favourites that come to mind are: “Tomorrow is promised to no one.” No question about that. 

It was George Bernard Shaw who wrote “Youth is wasted on the young.” Man, is it ever! 

And finally, words of wisdom that certainly resonate with me: “When I was 18, I was embarrassed at how stupid my old man was. When I was 21, I was surprised at how much my father had learned in three years.” 

 I came across something recently I thought you might identify with and hopefully appreciate. It’s a short conversation between a young boy and his grandfather. He asked the old gentleman, “Grandpa, how did you live in the past without technology? You know, no computers, no internet connection, no T.V., you couldn’t email or text, you didn’t have cell phones or Smart phones? 

Those old family photos may only be in black and white, but they are often full of colourful memories!

The grandfather smiled and answered: “As your generation lives today there is little or no compassion, there is no respect, there is no shame at all, there is no modesty, and there doesn’t seem to be the honesty there once was.

“We, those of us born between the years 1940 and 1980, were the blessed ones. Any one of us will argue we lived during the most interesting decades ever. As an example, there were more technological discoveries and advancements during the 1960s than all of history prior to. 

‘We never wore a helmet while riding a bike. We sometimes played before school then played outside until dusk. We never watched television. Some of us never saw a television in the house until we were in our teens. We played with real friends, not virtual friends. Some of us still keep in touch with those same old friends.

‘If we were thirsty, we would drink tap water, not carbonated water. We never worried because we shared the same cup of juice with four friends. We might have been lucky enough to eat carrots or tomatoes right out of someone’s garden only after wiping the dirt off with your hand. 

“We never used food supplements to stay healthy. I don’t even know if there was such a thing. 

“We used to make some of our own toys. Our parents were not rich. They gave love not the stuff. Cell phones, DVD’s, game consoles, an Xbox, video games, laptops, internet, I-phones, Instagram didn’t exist. We seemed to have got along just fine without them. We didn’t have Facebook friends, we had true friends whose faces we saw often.

“We may have had black and white photos, but every one of them was filled with colorful memories. We are a unique and the most understanding generation, because we are the last generation that listened to their parents. And we are also the first ones who were forced to listen to our children. 

“We are a limited edition. Learn from us. We are a treasure destined to disappear. After all tomorrow is promised to no one. In the end, I have nothing against the aging process, as long as it comes in a bottle.”

Jim was a writer-broadcaster, producer and performer on television and radio for 40 years. He is also a contributor to Lifestyles 55 Digital Radio. Find it at www.whatsupwinnipeg.ca