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Hilda Graham "I wrote this sometime ago and it seems the world is not improving.  Now our children have even more to fear.  How sad this is.  Hope you can use this one."

It is sad, Hilda, that children cannot just be children, not  exposed to terrible tragedies and constant anxiety.  Especially I don't understand how they can function in overcrowded, dangerous schools with drugs, death, violence and massacre a daily threat.  I asked my teenage granddaughter, a week or so afterward, what the kids at school were saying about the Twin Towers attack and the threat to the USA by extremists.  She said they didn't talk about it; after all, there was nothing they could do.  Sad, but true.

I read a lot of history as a youngster, biographies, writings from centuries past, philosophy and historical novels.  It gave me perspective on society, not necessarily a good thing at that tender age.  Our recent ancestors worried about Indian attacks, illness with no remedies and the dreadful Civil War, pitting brother against brother.  Our parents suffered through the great depression in the USA and many other countries, with famine, loss of property, etc., and the light at the end of the tunnel turned out to be bombs exploding in WWII.  As youngsters we worried through WWII, then learned to hide under our desks as practice for when the Russians lobbed missiles armed with atomic bombs.  The most popular fellow in 9th grade, already elected  valedictorian, died of bulbar polio two weeks before graduation, and a boy elected to the honor society, headed for a career perhaps as a surgeon or researcher, ended up in an iron lung for life.  I worried constantly about not fitting in, being "different" in interests, abilities and expectations than the other girls.  And so it goes.  Each  generation has its own tribulations.  But we suffer for the young ones, don't we?   Does it have to be that way?  I believe not; we CAN make a difference.  But will we?  History makes us doubtful.   We can only try, and one by one, do our best.  Hilda's poem:

Is This The Real World ?

Come into the real world; 
that's what people say, 
but I don't like the real world 
the way it is today. 

I want to go to town 
and know my home is safe, 
not have to lock the doors 
when I go any place. 

Gone are the times 
when we felt safe at home; 
many live in deepest fear 
if they are left alone.

We barricade our windows, 
put bars across the doors, 
trying to keep the burglars out 
and protect all that is ours.

Criminals roaming in the streets 
committing all types of crimes, 
and when they are sent to prison 
they don't serve any time. 

I want the children to feel secure 
as they attend their schools, 
listen to what the teachers say 
and obey the golden rules. 

Some parents have lost control 
of what's best for their child 
because unfortunately it seems 
there are many running wild. 

I want all the children to be safe 
as they play outside 
and not to worry that some pervert 
will take them for a ride. 

I would like the world to be 
a happier place once more; 
people trusting others, 
the rich helping the poor. 

Children should be children 
and not grow up too fast,
keeping more of innocence
as they did in years past. 

I want to go for long walks 
when the day is through 
and not to feel afraid 
of what someone might do. 

Come into the real world? 
NO!  I want to say, 
for this is not the real world.
We've just let it get this way. 

Copyrightę  Hilda Graham 11-7-97


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