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Head Scratching

There were at least two rather undramatic qualities to 19th century and even early 20th century life that gave substance to the phrase American way of life.  One was the family and the other was education.  

Families were a real concept.  Parents were responsible for their children and children were bound into the welfare of the unit.  Children were taught a work ethic and in many cases contributed to the economic health of the family.  It wasn’t always a success because people are imperfect but when there was failure it could be attributed to a breakdown in family life. 

Education came from schools and parents.  Schools taught math and english rigorously.  Schools also taught history and civics.  Rigorously. If you doubt the difficulty of the school curriculum, do a search for grade school examinations in that time frame. Parents taught ethics, prayer,  thankfulness and love.

It’s all gone now…  I don’t have to detail what family life has become or what schools teach in lieu of the above…  Think we can recapture “The American Way of Life”… ?  Yeah, me neither.  Too bad because that’s all it would take.


  © Robert Graham