You made it

This comes from the web site of another Thornhill (Thornhill Secondary School in Ontario, Canada). With their permission, I have included it on our site. The 'other' Thornhill has also recently celebrated its 50th Anniversary so we have a lot in common.

"YOU MADE IT"

Boy have we come a long way?

Looking back, it's hard to believe that we have lived as long as we have.

As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags. Riding in the back of a pickup truck on a warm day was always a special treat.

Our baby cots were covered with bright coloured lead based paint. We had no childproof lids on our medicine bottles, doors, or cabinets, and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets. (Not to mention hitchhiking to town as a young kid!) We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle. Horrors.

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then rode down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times we learned to solve the problem.

We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on. No one was able to reach us all day. Our parents knew that all the neighbours would watch out for all the kids. No cell phones. Unthinkable.

We played dodge ball and sometimes the ball would really hurt. We got cut and broke bones and broke teeth, and there were no lawsuits from these accidents. They were accidents. No one was to blame, but us. Remember accidents?

We had fights and punched each other and got black and blue and learned to get over it.

We ate cupcakes, bread and butter, and drank fizzy drinks but we never got overweight. We were always outside playing. We shared one Coke or Fanta with four friends, from one bottle and no one died from this. We did not have Playstations, Nintendo 64, X-Boxes, video games, cable TV, video tape movies, surround sound, personal cell phones, personal computers, or Internet chat rooms. We had friends. We went outside and found them. We rode bikes or walked to a friend's home and knocked on the door, or rang the bell or just walked in and talked to them. Imagine such a thing. Without asking a parent! By ourselves! Out there in the cold cruel world! How did we do it?

We made up games with sticks and tennis balls and ate worms and although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes, nor did the worms live inside us forever.

Sports teams had try-outs and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment. The teams actually kept score and the winning team was allowed to be excited and the losing team learned to be good sports about it and learned that, in life, sometimes you win and sometimes you lose.

Some students weren't as bright as others so they failed a year and were held back to repeat the same grade. Horrors. Tests were not adjusted for any reason. Almost no one went to "pre-school" and when we finished high school we all knew how to read, use proper grammar, and do basic maths. We all learned how to count out change without a calculator to tell us the amount.

Our actions were our own. Consequences were expected. No one to hide behind. The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke a law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law, imagine that! If you misbehaved, your parents spanked you and no one arrested them for doing that! We also learned that when a parent said "No", they actually meant that and out lives would not be ruined forever by being denied every little thing we wanted at any given moment.

New toys were received on birthdays and holidays. not on every trip to the store. Parents gave us gifts out of love, not out of guilt.

We had freedom, failure, success, and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all. We had the luck to grow up as kids, before lawyers and government regulated our lives.

The past fifty years has been an explosion of innovation and new ideas. This generation has produced some of the best risk takers and problem solvers and inventors, ever.

And you're one of them.

Congratulations!