Here are our submissions, unedited for content, and in an "age before beauty" order ;)
Mary Andrea Abare -
OK, so so my son asked me to write down what I believe the biggest problem facing our world is today. Me? Oh I know there are a multitude of critical issues I can think of off the top of my head, who can't, but what's THE most important one. I wracked my aging brain for awhile and finally it became so obvious...it's the demise of the Good Humor man!!! Wow, that was easy...and before you laugh me off as just a deluded, demented old fool, hear me out.
Some of you may not even know who or what the Good Humor man is...you're too young. But there's sure to be many of us "older folks" reading this who do. This was the guy driving his charming little truck into my neighborhood every sultry summer afternoon with that welcoming GOOD HUMOR" printed on the side (along with a picture of a mouthwatering ice cream bar beckoning me) .The musical tinkling tune of his trucks bell beckoned me from the house starting around the age of four and affirming to me that life was full of joy, love and FUN! Always dressed in a crisp white outfit and accompanying white cap, I was never afraid to just run out the door (and neither was my mother) to scoop up the flavor of the day (usually toasted almond covering creamy vanilla ice cream on a stick). I was never afraid I could possibly be molested; I never feared he might have an AR15 rifle hidden under the seat and I certainly wasn't suspicious of the grin he greeted me and my friends with each day because it was genuine. This was all part of my small world, everyone's small world in those days...a world where neighbors knew and cared about neighbors, where a five-year-old girl like myself could safely walk a mile down a city street to get to school, where a shooting of any kind was front page news for its rarity.
I guess older people always talk about "the good ole days" but the truth is I'd give anything to be transported back to that small, safe little world now. With the advent of social media EVERYTHING has changed. Violent images, both real and produced, have bombarded our lives for decades now. Sad to say, that even the Internet, and sites like Facebook and Twitter have caused relationships to become less personal, even enabling the "bad guys" to hide behind them for nefarious purposes. Our brains are overloaded with violent stimuli and the media thrives on propagating fear. Being overloaded with these horrific stories and images, our brains, not unlike machines, have gone "TILT"!! "Too Much Information" is a truism. We have become a world of "haters" rather than "carers"(if that's a word), whether it's for religious, racial or political reasons. Everyone is now out for themselves and God forbid (interesting term) you don't hold their same beliefs! Shoot up a school must be the solution to the nervous breakdown so many people and cultures are experiencing. I guess I really have to admit the Internet and the media, to me at least, are the biggest causes for the worlds problems. That and religion, which I'll get into another time. For now, I'll just say "We need the Good Humor Man"
David Abare -