I remember … days of decency

Published 11:36 pm Thursday, February 23, 2006

By Staff
Coming home from the eye doctor with pupils the size of silver dollars the other evening, I plopped on my big chair and settled in to the movie already in progress.
From the year of my birth it was “I remember Mama.” Later a television series would be made of the family from Norway who came to America with their children, who included a future writer.
Such polite children they were, respectful of their parents, neighbors and teachers.
It seemed as though they were always chipping in, helping to wash the dishes, going to the store (that is walking to the store not hopping in the family car), or to help each other with homework.
Family values like these I grew up with and hope I instilled in my own children.
I know our world has changed dramatically in the last almost 60 years, but I worry we have destroyed a way to help lead young people down the right path of responsibility. television is such a strong influence. Just think of your own memories.
In the show, the eldest daughter wanted a dresser set for her graduation present, not the old brooch that was her grandmother's. (For you youngsters that is a pin worn near the neck.)
Mama, who had hoped to pass down the heirloom, instead traded it for the brushes and combs.
When the daughter found out, by a tattling sister, she immediately returned the present and got her mother's treasured pin back.
That night she was allowed to have her first cup of coffee, instead of just sugar cubes dipped into her father's cup.
Hokey. You bet.
But it also made me realize what we have lost. The Leave it to Beaver, Father Knows Best, and other family units I grew up watching, are gone.
What is in their place?
The other day I turned to the Hallmark station, maybe just for a dose of the wonderful heartwarming commercials they show on their specials. This day there was an old western.
There was a loving couple, cow hands, bad guys and a brother who has gone bad.
Those were typical elements to a western, but there were some differences.
The couple held Bible readings and invited their hands into their home on Sundays to join them.
Christmas saw them all sharing a few homemade gifts and what little food they had.
Okay, I know even my kids wouldn't have sat still for that show, but the values, the praying together was such a pleasant change from shows filled with drugs, killing and profanity.
Somewhere between Dora the Explorer and reality tv and video games like Grand Theft Auto, I wonder what there is good for kids to watch.
My daughter loves Animal Planet and I would hope the Disney channel still is acceptable. So much though is just garbage.
We probably have ourselves to blame for the changes. Those of us, like myself, who never wrote a letter in complaint, or made demands to a station to take something off the air, should feel bad.
Turning off the television in our own home is a start, but what about those who are home without any supervision.
They say the pendulum always swings back. I feel we have been waiting a long time. It can start swinging anytime soon.