Bruce Sallan: When I grew up, it was easy to know the good guys from the bad guys. In some cases, they actually wore white hats. Or, as in my first exposure to a movie hero that I remember, it was Steve McQueen as Hilts, the motorcycle-riding, Nazi-defying loner who comes through, in the end, for the guys in "The Great Escape." He was the epitome of cool. I thought policemen were also cool, and that politicians looked like JFK and were to be respected. Nostalgic times, for sure.
But, it changed. Changed with the sixties, changed with Watergate, changed with Vietnam, and more. The legacy of those years is what our children now live with. Who are their heroes? Do we really want them worshipping all the NBA superstars who are covered with tattoos and whose personal lives are best left to the tabloids? My sports heroes were like Sandy Koufax, who stood by his principles and didn't pitch a World Series game on a religious holiday of significance to him.
Even teachers and other authority figures not only engendered respect, but also were often feared, in some cases, for their importance in the community and the gravitas of who they were and what they represented. Now, high school kids regularly dis teachers, and the system is such that the teachers and schools are actually afraid of the students much of the time.
I always think that life is a balance, and maybe the naïveté that I grew up with was too innocent, while the looseness and freedoms of today are too open, naked, and in our (kids') faces. But, I'm just a guy, so what do I know.
|Bruce Sallan gave up his showbiz career a decade ago to raise his two boys, full-time, now 13 and 16. His internationally syndicated column, A DAD'S POINT-OF-VIEW, is his take on the challenges of parenthood and male/female issues, both as a single dad and now, newly remarried, in a blended family. Join Bruce's A DAD'S POINT-OF-VIEW fan page at Facebook. To contact Bruce, visit his new website brucesallan.com.|