The following is my English translation of an excellent Romanian meme about the childhood of Generation X (those born between the 60's and the 80's). Although the reality described is somewhat specific to Romania, I believe that if you are a GenX'er, you can find some resemblances with your golden childhood, from wherever you lived.

How could we possibly have survived our childhood?

If you were a child in the '60s, '70s or at the beginning of the 80's, how did you manage to survive?

  • Since we were kids, we rode in cars and buses that had no safety belts or airbags

  • A ride in the back of an open pick-up truck was a very special trip and a memory of a lifetime

  • Our cradles were vividly painted and all the paint was lead-based

  • There were no safety caps for drug bottles, and no safely locks for medical cabinets

  • We rode our bicycles without helmets, knee pads or elbow pads

  • We didn't throw away the candy that we accidentally dropped on the ground

  • We didn't wash our hands three times with disinfectant after playing with all the dogs and cats in the neighborhood

  • We drank water from the well in the garden, not from a bottle of purified mineral water

  • We spent days building go-carts from scraps of metal, and launched ourselves downhill without breaks

  • We went out to play with only one condition: be back home before dark

  • We went to school in the morning, dropped by home to eat, then went out to play. We didn't have pagers or cell phones, so nobody knew where we were...

  • We broke bones, cut ourselves or lost teeth, but we never looked for someone to blame or sue. It was our fault.

  • We ate biscuits, bread and butter, drank juices with sugar, fat and additives but didn't become obese because we were out playing all day

  • We shared one bottle of juice among 4 friends and nobody got an infection from that

  • We didn't page, text, SMS or call ourselves to go out. We whistled from outside the house.

  • Out there, in a world without guardians, we had team games, soccer, cops and robbers, hide-and-seek, and not everyone got selected or won, but nobody got upset

  • Not all of use were brilliant pupils and bad grades could lead to a failed school year. But nobody went to the shrink, nobody had dyslexia or attention deficit disorder, or hyperactivity. They just took a second chance and repeated the year.

  • We didn't have Playstation, Nintendo, Xbox, video games, 999 cable TV channels, Dolby surround, personal mobile phones, computers, Internet chat, but... WE HAD FRIENDS

  • We had freedom, failures, joy, responsibilities... and we learned to manage them.

The big question is: how did we manage to survive and especially, to become the adults we are today?

Do you belong to this generation?

If so, send this message to everyone you know from the same generation, or to younger folks, so they learn what we were like before "safety" became the most important value.

They'll most probably say we were boring...

But oh, how happy we were!

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