When I was a child, I think one of my favorite days, aside from Christmas, was Halloween. It wasn’t the costumes in particular, but the race to garner the most candy that I could. One or both parents would take my sister and I around the neighborhood and people actually decorated their homes. Some, in fact, actually had “haunted houses” you had to go through to get your treats.
That’s mostly gone today, unfortunately, as the media over the years since I became an adult has warned parents that there were nefarious people out there willing to harm innocent children with candy spiked with something or other. Of course, these were few and far between and when I was a kid, we knew our neighbors, but it didnt stop the collapse of the tradition of trick-or-treating.
These are days that are long in the past, and will probably never be seen again. That’s too bad. There was a time when we knew our neighbors, and kids in the neighborhood played together. No longer. But this is not something that’s just occurred in the last few year; The advent of cable and gaming consoles have taken our children off the streets and placed them squarely in front of a television monitor.
Read about child obesity? Maybe that’s due to those same children sitting in front of the TV all day instead of being outside playing.I’m not intimating that the old days were better than today, just that they were different. What do we do today? People open their garage doors, go to work, then come home, again closing those garage doors, and that’s all we see of one another.
Today, instead of wanting to know our neighbors, we tend to ignore them. We’re all too busy to take a few minutes a day to even have a short conversation with any of them. We cant even get together to celebrate, not for us the adults, but for our children, a simple day we call Halloween which, depending when you were a kid, was a very special day of costumes and of course, candy. The look in the little one’s eyes as they received treats is enough don’t you think, to bring back this time honored (well, since the 1930’s anyway) tradition?
When I see some on the left accusing we conservatives of wanting to return to the 1950’s, I say, why not? No, not to the days of Jim Crow, or where there was violence against those based upon race, ethnicity, and yes, even religion, but just to those days when we could allow our children outside, not fearing that maybe our neighbor was some sort of predator. The days when, as when I was a child, we could depend on our neighbors to take care of every one of us, and that we could celebrate days like Halloween without fear.
We’re not that removed from those days. Maybe, just maybe, we could take a chance, an opportunity as we hear today, to believe in one another again.