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Abilene Morning Reporter News (Newspaper) - May 8, 1927, Abilene, Texas THE WESTERN WpRffr. (MAGAZINE SECTION) SUNDAY. MAY 8. 1927. PAGE NSC What Is The Matter With Ow Young People? Bf IfiomJMi Arkie Clerk, Been at Mm, University of Illinois (Proas the lunarian) J HAVE had a good deal to do with young people, aud with young people of college age—possibly aa much as anyone has ever had. I have come into personal contact with hundreds and thousands and tens of thousands of them during the last thirty years, so that I have a pretty clear idea of what they are like. I have seen a good deal of their inner life, and they have let me know what they are really doing and thinking about. Then, too, I have been young myself, and I have tried throughout all the years that I have had associations with young people to keep their point of view and even though I was growing old in years at least to keep young in spirit. There has been a good deal of talk, and much writing and some preaching ainee the war at least, about our young people. They are very different from what young people have ever been before, it is said. I bey do not do the same things that we did when we were young, or if they do, it is in a very different way. \ cry true! What do I think of them! I am asked this question wherever I go. Are they going to the devil as fast as the general public suggests that they aret Are they wilder or less moral than we, their virtuous predecessors, were! Are they breaking away from all hampering conventions, and giving up all religious principles and ideals? In short what, if anything, is the matter with them? No generation has ever seemed conventional or self controlled by the previous one. My father in England was a dissenter from the recognised religious faith of his ancestors. He joined himself to a religious sect that was quite in disfavor in his family and was considered as all but morally lost by his father. He did some thinking for himself; he wandered out of the conventional religious and political path which his ancestors had followed, and he came to America to enjoy the kind of freedom which he thought best for himself and his family. He was, however, for all that, very rigid in his views. There was no cardplaying in his house; his children were not allowed to dance; and when Sunday came all secular matters were set aside. We did not work, we read no hooka or papers which did not have to do with sacred or religious matters, and we went to church—walking if the horses had been working during the week—and sat quietly and sedately with father and mother in the family pew. We younger children took up cards later—seven up and euchre—and we learned to dance simple square dances and in time the more extreme and morally dangerous waits. There was a good deal said about the waltz when it first eamc in. The morally fastidious lifted their eyebrows and talked in undertones behind their hands when they mentioned ii. It was thought to be the most risque social adventure upon which modern young people had yet ventured. We who assayed this new social pleasure were thought to be standing on very dangerous ground. Our parents were worried about us, as parents today are, it seems, about their children. Judson was talking to me the other day about bis boy who is just ready for college. Judson and I lived a mile or two apart when we were his son’s age, our fathers being farmers, We had in our youth about the same social experience. 44 1 never did the things when I was his age that my boy doea. He drives off in our ear fifty miles to a party or goes that far to take a girl to dinner,—and the way he drives! 44 Of course, Judson was right. We had no airplanes and no automobiles when he and I were young, but we did have a horse and buggy and I recalled to Judson that he and I had driven fifteen miles once to a dance. That wasn’t so far, of course, but we went more slowly and got baok later very likely. ‘They want so much more money than we had,” he went on. “I spent no great deal of money. My boy has more in a month than I had in a year. 44 THAT is all quite true, but we had as much as any other fellow in the neighborhood lad, and the cost of living was almost immeasurably lower then than now. The young person of today wants little more than his neighbors have, and that was all we wanted. Before we judge our young people too harshly we should take into consideration what changes have eome about in ways of living since we were ourselves young. When I went to college, students lived a mile and a half from the campus and walked to eight o’clock recitations without thinking that it was a hardship. The old horsecar made the trip every half hour, but it started from nowhere and arrived at about the same place and did both at a most inconvenient time so that there was no counting on it to help, not even in a time of emergency. We had no telephones, no electric lights, no automobiles. There wasn’t a paved street rn town. We studied by kerosene lamps in rooms heated with little soft-coal stables, and if there was a bath-tub in town except ing the one in Terbush’s barber shop where we paid twenty five cents for the privilege of cleaning up, I never knew about it. Our pleasures were as simple as our ways of living. There were no moving picture ahow’g, no vaude Ville, no ice-cream parlors, and ne dance-halls. There were about two dances a year, one at Thanksgiving time and the other at Commencement, at which time the local opera-house had some sort of shaky improvised floor run out from the stage over the scata in the dress circles. We didn’t spend much money, because we did not have much, and our parents lived aa simply as we did. I say all this to suggest a little of what the conditions of living were when we who are now past middle age were young, for the conditions under which I lived were not materi ally different from the general conditions throughout the country. We lived a limple life, though that does not necessarily mean that it was a more moral one than the young people of today are living. We were not co frank, perhaps, in our discussion of our emotions and in laying bare what was actually going on in our minds. We thought about a great many things about which it was not proper to speak. There are no such. things today. The young person of today talks freely on subjects about which we would have scarcely dared to think. Possibly it is just as well. There were fourteen saloons in the little town in which I went to college and they did a good business. The proprietor of one of them went to his great reward not long ago, and the schedule filed on the probate of his will showed that he had not done business for nothing. There was far more drinking then than there is now, badly as prohibition is enforced, and far more drunkenness. Gambling houses were pretty open. A friend of mine who is head of a big institution not far distant told me not long ago that he knew a half dozen bright young fellows who paid their way through college by means of their skill at poker. It was done back in those days. The red-light district was pretty flourishing. I called the mayor’s attention once to a notorious place which was running in plain sight of his office. “Oh, of eourse I know at cut it, 4 * he said, “but not officially, you see. 44 City officials took their responsibilities as lightly then as now. It is said that young people were more religious then than now—that they went to church more generally and more regularly. Possibly they went more regularly, for the church when I was young was a general meeting-placc. Young people went to church for social reasons then far more than they now do. It is not necessary in these days, for social activities are far more general than they were thirty years ago, and it is no longer necessary for a young fellow to go to church to meet a girl he is in love with. He can call her up over the telephone, or tear down the concrete road in his flivver and meet her within a few minutes even if she lives several miles away, and besides there is a movie g-picture house on every street corner where he can talk to her under a subdued light while a stirring drama is enacted before them. We were trained to work hard forty years ago, and the young had their part in the work as well as the old. We went through a good many hardships and are what we are largely because we overcame these difficulties. We got up early at our house and were out in the fields, chores done and breakfast finished, by six o’clock; but I’ve seen Jo* White, our neighbor, a half mile away, resting on his plow-beam at five in the morning. He got up earlier than we did. We were not so well nor to widely trained on entrance to college then as are our children now; our teachers were not so efficient, inefficient' as many teachers still are; but we were earnest, we were not afraid of study, we very much wanted an education and many made cruel sacrifices to attain that end, as some still do today. The education of young people Ii very different from what it was when we were young, and in a gratifying number of cases it has stimulated them to think for themselves, and in thinking for themselves they have sometimes questioned the old theories and the old standards. They arc not throwing them over in a good many eases; they are simply proving them, and where these theories and th cie standards have a solid foundation, they will stand. Connor has been brought up in th* orthodox Protestant faith. He was taken to church until he was old enough to go of his own accord, and for a time he questioned nothing^ analyzed toothing, thought out no living for himself. Now he is uncertain, be is asking questions, he is trying to discover why and why not. M is not that he is irreligious; he sirv eerely wants to be truly religious, bul he is determined to think things out for himself. Many other young people are getting the same view, in other things as well as in religion, but there is nothing ominous in that fact. The young person of today is more resourceful than any othe * young person whom I have ever known. He can do anything that he wants to do and can do it better than ary of his predecessors. Challenge him, and he will meet your challenge with a success that is almost unbelievable. I said that he can do anything that,he wants to do. The chief difficult) is to get him to the point of wanting to do something. He has been talked about and written about so much that he has become a little self const* Urns. He has been praised until it has not infrequently gone to his head; he has (Continued on page ll) “Purges’ and “Physics’ Bad for Old Folks OR. W. 0 CALDWKU. AT THE AOK OF ti While The. VV. B. Caldwell, of Monticello, 111., a practicing physician for 4T years, knew that constipation was tho curse of advancing age, he did not believe that a “purge” or “physic” every little while was necessary. To him. It aoeined cruel that so many constipated old people had to be kept constantly “stirred up” end half Bick by taking cathartic pills, tablets, salts, calomel and nasty olla In Dr. Caldwell's Syrup Pepsin he discovered a laxative which Kelps to “regulate" the bowels of old folks. I br. Caid well's Syrup Pepsin not only causes a gentle, easy bowel movement hut each dose helps to strengthen the bowel musers, shortly establishing natural "regu larity.” It never gripes, sickens, or upsets the system. Besides, it is absolutely harmless and pleasant to take. If past fifty, buy a large 60-cent bottle at any store that sells medicine or write “Syrup Pepsin,” Monticello, Illinois, for a FRICK HAMPLE BOTTLE and just see for yourself. Dr Caldwell'* SYRUP PEPSIN #
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