Television and Beyond

Television and Beyond

middle-class life in the '60s

One of the many aspects of life that I was always familiar with, but rarely see these days, is cooperativeness.  I believe the absence of this trait is very negative, and can have a very negative effect on virtually every part of a person's life.  As a little child in the '60s, one of the first places I witnessed and learned about cooperativeness was the television.


In my childhood, something my family had in common with all of the other families I knew was we had one television set.  While some of the families I knew were much larger than mine, before my much-older brothers grew up and moved out on their own, the family consisted of five people:  two parents, two teenagers, and the little kid (that was me).  The t.v. was in the living room.  Despite each family member having his or her own favorite t.v. shows, there were never any actual arguments, and no one pulling "authority trips."  The idea of having numerous t.v. sets in a household, or having televisions in individual bedrooms, was unheard of--  even in families who could have afforded it, and even in families with large houses. 


A second factor was one bathroom.  While most of my growing-up years were spent in a very large house, and with a father who was very capable when it came to building and remodeling, it simply never occurred to anyone that any family would need more than one bathroom.  Similar to the t.v., what one bathroom represented was learning how to take turns, share, and be cooperative with others. 


It seems to me "more" does not necessarily equal "better."  Whether it is a matter of personal preference, so-called status symbols, or environmental influences, making "to each his or her own" literal does not benefit anyone.  When people do not grasp the concepts of sharing, taking turns, and being cooperative in the original family homes, it is not easy for them to learn those traits later on.  Frankly, I believe "one for all--  and all for one" is a much better foundation for life.