Archived Story

What was the greatest decade of your life?

Published 9:14pm Tuesday, February 4, 2014

I was reading some comments about all the problems we are having and someone wrote, “The last great economic decade in the United States was the 1990s.” There is more to a decade than economy and the comment got me thinking, “What would I say was the greatest decade of my life?”
I happen to be a person who likes to live in the present and not in the past, although the good old days keep getting “gooder” as I get older. It’s hard to imagine, but maybe the greatest decade of my life is forthcoming and, besides, what makes a great decade?
Most people return to their childhoods as they think of their greatest decade. If one has had a secure and enjoyable childhood, that decade seems to be great. For instance, growing up in a rural setting; that is on a dirt road and farm, for me, was about as good as it could get. There was plenty to do in the wide open spaces of freshly plowed ground and old mule barns to figure out. Plus, there were woods for exploring and creeks and ponds for fishing.
Donna Sue had the experience of growing up in a city or town atmosphere where there were many neighbors and children with which to share play time. She might think that living on a farm, where neighbors were few and far between, might not have been so great.
My grandson, Cam, is growing up now. He moves around with his daddy’s work but has the blessings of a daddy and momma who love him very much and he gets to do just about anything he wants. What’s not to like about that? One day, he may call the decade of the 2010s great. I might not, except for the fact that the decade includes him.
All of you have probably heard that some statements are “relative,” meaning subjective. What is trash to some is treasure to others, so to speak. As I look for humor in just about everything said or done, I have said, “that’s a relative statement and it depends on who your relatives are.”
I am getting around to saying that when we are surrounded by loving family or relatives, that’s a very important ingredient in remembering a time as great or happy.
Cam can look at his childhood as great because he is surrounded by plenty of relatives who love him very much and are dedicated to his security and happiness.
When the family unit is strong and loving, every decade can be great.
I think that is why so many old-timers look back at the difficult decade of the Great Depression and refer to it as good old days. They certainly could not mean a great decade of fun and prosperity and yet that decade of struggle and appreciation for family and human resiliency brought about a strengthening of character that led to the entirety of the twentieth century on planet Earth to be called The American Century.
For someone to say the 1990s or any other decade was the last, great decade in our country is certainly a relative statement. I guess it depends on who your relatives are.

Editor's Picks