What kind of world did you grow up in?

What kind of world did you grow up in?

Of course the world has changed greatly since our early years, but tell us about what your world was like?

It's gone now but it lives in your memory, so share it with us. What was the world like for you growing up?
Considering this is a multi-cultural site, this should be interesting.

What influences surrounded you in the world you grew up in? Can you describe what life was like for you all those years ago?

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Published in Senior Chatters


  1. roseinbloom

    Gael, you come up with the best topics. Thank you. I lived in a segregated world which speaks for itself. Blacks were the most segregated, but other nationalities lived in their own small communities. I was taught to believe in equal justice and opportunity, and believed it was more real than it was. Our world is still segregated and a lot of it is by economics, but there is still discrimination based on race and culture.
    I grew up in a rural community and now most people are in large cities, and I grew up when books and print were the source of information. I grew up before the pill, which changed a whole lot of things. That iss it in a nutshell.

    1. Gael

      Thanks Rose, that encourages me!

      I too recall that segregated world. Our neighborhood had no blacks and when we moved we sold to a black family. That resulted in the whites leaving the neighborhood.

      Thankfully, I was spared being taught bigotry. My mother who actually was from the south at a time when racism was unquestioned, remained free of that outlook. So I was never taught to hate and have to this day retained a dislike of any sort of bigotry.

  2. Jsmile

    I grew up in a very moral God fearing world. We treated all humans equal as we.
    Women were real women and men real men. Wrong was punished and good hard work was rewarded. We were taught if you work you eat. Opinions and interpretations were not forced on others through the passing of lawless laws. The law and rule of the land according to the golden rule book ( the bible ) was the order of life. Sex came with a ring. Money was earned not given through entitlement programs. Aborting unborn babies wasn’t tolerated. We lived a happy fulfilled life and passed values to our children. One race wasn’t superior to another. Life was wonderful because we had stability with family and community. This isn’t popular these days but it worked wonders for us. Music had meaning and a story we could relate to in every day life. Those were the days. “We’ve come a long way baby” lol

    1. Gael

      Smiles that world is but a memory now.

      I grew up in somewhat a smiliar one until I reached young adulthood and then it all turned upside down with a moral and poltical revolution which overtook the US.

      Growing up I would think one aspect that certainly applied and does not now is the different technological atmosphere.

      You spoke on the phone in the house and if someone called when you were out, they missed you. You couldn’t wander from room to room with the phone either.

      There was no internet and thus no way to instantly connect with others around the world.

      I had penpals in different countries which seemed exotic at the time. To receive a written letter from someone in another country was magical and other wordly to me.

      Libraries had more importance for me then as the only source to go to for finding information which wasn’t readily available any other way.

      No instant micro wave meals or reheating food that way. The most cutting edge meal was a “tv dinner” which went into the oven.

      Growing up in a medium size city close to a major one, NYC, I was hardly isolated but in no way did I have the type of quicker travel methods I do now.

      The family structure was not as fragmented as it is now and crime rates were generally lower. But also ignorance about any issues reigned along with close minded attitudes. So a case can always be made for the pros and cons.

      1. roseinbloom

        Gael, Life changes and we can cling to the past or we can rush forward into the new or we can be somewhere in the middle. I think I will try harder to embrace change and use it wisely; like what do I do with all my free time that is saved by all devices and ready made clothes and food at the stores already prepared. I need to use that extra time wisely and enyoy the change.

        1. Gael

          For sure Rose, technological advances can make life easier and more expansive. Like any tool, it’s about how it’s used.

      2. watergypsy87

        The phrase “Smiles that world is but a memory now” makes you think hard ……..How times and attitudes have changed and we have lived in that great change.
        It was the “smile” word that got me….as children, you are too busy,growing,learning and. adapting .Prejudice and cruelty are taught and come later.
        Ask a child to describe a good day, the sun is shining and smiles,ask for a bad day and there would be no sun and tears.

        1. Gael

          The innocence and idealism of childhood, Gyps. Hard to hold onto that as time passes…though some manage.

          1. watergypsy87

            I am not sure whether I would like to meet a person with all the innocence and idealism of a child….

    2. laurie

      I can tell you from personal experience that the reality of living on entitlements is that it is not an easy choice but rather a difficult necessity. Regarding the pro-choice question I am profoundly grateful that in the present day our daughters are no longer forced into back alleys as was the case in earlier times.

  3. CSweet51

    I grew up in a magical world. Where you could play in the streets with your friends and curfew was sundown. I would dress up and go out to dinner with mom and dad as a special treat. I would visit santa and trick or treat with my grandmother. Doors were never locked, the only tv I watched was ‘The wonderful world of Disney’ on Sunday nights. schools wouldn’t allow makeup until high school. taking the train with friends to downtown Chicago to visit my favorite radio station and shopping. I am just rambling but there so many wonderful memories from when I was young. It was a wonderful life and still is.

    1. Gael

      Sweet, that brought tears to my eyes. What a wonderful childhood you were blessed with.

      I recall watching the Disney show as a child and entering that magical world. I always loved fantasy and still do. But so much easier to embrace it through a child’s eyes.

      1. Gael

        Thank you Michael, for that vivid look into your early years. A very different world then the one I grew up in and I appreciate the description of what you experienced. It sounds fascinating to be honest; the stuff books are made of.

  4. lani36

    Mine was vastly different to most Australian children , My Father , his mom,my yia yia and Aunt were from Greece coming to Australia to become British citizens, AFTER W.W.2 My Mother was born inEngland , it was my yia yia who had all the say, she was the most loving women ,along with my Aunt, who gave me so much love and good morals and always used to say things to me such as (always be kind to strangers thereby could stand an angel )they were very religous, I was not allowed past our front gate , and the only other child I ever met was our paper boy when he delivered the evening paper… I used to look through the gate at the other children playing , but it didn,t bother me that much, becasue when Aunty came home from work , she used to take me everywhere. You see my Father died when i was a toddler and my Mother when i was a young teen,
    before my Mother passed away at 42 years of age , she had me taught dancing, singing, elocution and such , so my life was very full , My Mother and Father and our little family were to go to england to live Permanently with my Mothers family ,but after Father died , My Mom had to go back to work , sadly she never made it back to her family ,she was an Art and music teacher, and with her pay and Aunties pay we managed very well . …I had a catholic education in a lovely college , A very stern school , but again disciplined….overall I am thankfull I came from such a wonderfully loving Family ….
    A different upbringing to most in this country, but a good life of learned values,
    And a gratitude for all things great and small ….

    1. Gael

      Thanks Rose, that encourages me!

      I too recall that segregated world. Our neighborhood had no blacks and when we moved we sold to a black family. That resulted in the whites leaving the neighborhood.

      Thankfully, I was spared being taught bigotry. My mother who actually was from the south at a time when racism was unquestioned, remained free of that outlook. So I was never taught to hate and have to this day retained a dislike of any sort of bigotry.

    2. Gael

      Lani, you triggered a memory for me with your mention of your yia yia. I had a Greek American friend as a young girl and I recall her yia yia. She made those rolled grape leafs for meals and other Greek dishes.

      I went briefly to Greek lessons and to a Greek resort one summer due to my association with my friend; Stacey Sava was her name. I still love Greek music.

      It sounds like you lived in a world filled with familial love and support. What a blessing for a child to grow up with this. Especially when you come from a different culture.

  5. lani36

    thank you Gael , yes i was fortunate in many ways, they are called Dolmathes the grape leaves , most make them today with spinach or silver beet leaves blanched very tasty with a little finely grated lemmon zest … WITH porkfilling and herbs… and steamed … yes we soon leanerd the Aussy ways at school ,my Brother and i ,but he left and joined the navy…… MY yia yia never spoke english and I had to take her to the shops , and help her understand , their were some very funny moments….

  6. saffy123

    Growing up in the post war years in England was very different to what I have read on here….rationing was still in force..there was not a lot of food except the veggies one grew…the country had been devastated by bombs….the defences were still up along the beach…..there was joy in the fact that we had all survived but so much sadness for the ones lost…..I remember my very first ‘banana’…..I must have been around 6 years old….I had never seen one before and didn’t know what to do with it!!!..My father had returned from Palestine (as it was called then) and to the day he died he never spoke of his War..I only knew what he had been through when I was older……but that really is another story……

  7. bart

    As very much of a Newbie to Seniorchatters I’ve found this blog and the thread of comments a thoroughly enjoyable introduction. A wonderful topic followed by a lot of interesting comments . Thanks

  8. Scotty75

    I guess I grew up in a totally different world than most that I’ve read here. My family was very dysfunctional in just about every way possible. I was the only one in the family who went to college. I was the only one out of my graduating class of 13 who became a teacher. It was a very small community, and everyone knew everyone and that wasn’t always a good thing. I remember the one young man who was two years ahead of me in school. Some ( well, most ) people made fun of him because they were sure he was gay, as if that should have mattered. He left the little town the day after he graduated and went to New York City and opened a school of ballet. He eventually opened 3 schools of ballet. Religion was the thing that pretty much ruled the entire community. That was the first thing I left behind when I went to college. I was taught to be prejudiced , but thank goodness it didn’t take. Growing up poor is not easy. My only way out of that awful little town was to go to college. I returned 40 years later to teach in the same school where I graduated. Not very much had changed. I lasted one year.
    I am grateful to be free of all that in my old age. Life is much more positive now.