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What was normal growing up, but is now a luxury? People share their thoughts


May 24 2024, Published 1:51 p.m. ET

Life has changed dramatically over the past few decades, transforming many everyday experiences from our childhoods into luxuries today. We asked our Facebook audience to reflect on this shift and share what was once normal for them growing up but would now be considered a luxury. Their responses offer a nostalgic yet striking glimpse into how much our world has evolved.

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For many, the presence of a stay-at-home parent was a comforting constant. Danielle fondly recalls, "A parent at home when you get back from school," a sentiment echoed by others like Amy and Mary. These days, many families need dual incomes, making this once-common scenario a rarity.

Housing and financial stability were also common themes. Lauren shared, "My grandparents had 7 kids on an electrician’s income. They weren’t wealthy, but they had everything they needed and still had money to live during retirement. That’s impossible to do now." The cost of living has soared, making single-income households and affordable housing much more elusive. As Kenneth puts it succinctly, "Affordable housing" is now a significant challenge.

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Many reminisced about the simplicity and safety of their childhoods. Jackie reflected on "Freedom to be safely outside without supervision, to go all over town on your bike without fear... loved this independence and freedom that today’s kids can never experience." Similarly, Margaret remembered, "I walked to school by myself or with a friend... my Mom allowed me some independence and nothing bad ever happened."

Health and wellness were other significant points of discussion. Cindy mentioned, "Housing, healthcare and enough to eat. Reproductive care for women." Clean air and water, as noted by Alan, have become pressing issues with environmental changes, "Better air to breathe… less forest fires, more rain, and the rivers were full instead of drying up!"

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Many cherished the simplicity of life before technology took over. Desiree mentioned, "Human interaction without technology," while Kim missed "A conversation without someone looking at their phone." The nostalgia for personal connections is palpable in their words.

Even the small luxuries, like family dinners, were highlighted. Anita reminisced, "A home cooked meal and the family eating dinner together." Candace echoed this sentiment, saying, "Sitting down at the dinner table with both parents and all four of us kids."

These reflections show how the simple, everyday aspects of childhood have transformed into rare luxuries. From financial stability and housing to personal safety and quality family time, the world has changed in ways that make us long for a simpler past. What was once taken for granted is now cherished in memory.

This article was written with assistance from artificial intelligence. Megaphone creates content primarily driven by people but aims for full transparency in how our storytelling is produced. To learn more about our policy on artificial intelligence, click here.


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