And while it may have started from a religious tradition, I doubt that a majority of people went to church even then. And as a child I often rebelled at having to stay indoors and play pickup sticks or Parcheesi. But the wisdom of this lifestyle was underscored for me by my grandson who spent a year in Germany. As a soccer aficionado he went to see if he could make his mark in a country where soccer rules. While he enjoyed his modest success at soccer, he totally fell in love with a more relaxed lifestyle in Germany, particularly the fact that Sunday was a much more relaxed day with very few stores open. I'm afraid in America where individuality, capitalism and freedom rules, there is little likelihood of returning to those halcyon days. But there's nothing to keep individual families from doing things that make sense to them to improve their quality of life. I well remember that as Regina and I were bringing up our four children (during what we thought were busy times) we held Friday night almost sacred as a FAMILY TIME. I wonder how much that may have contributed tomy continuing joy of having a close knit family?
And once again disclosing my Germanic heritage and recent trips there and having visitors here from Germany, let me close with a few things I've gained recently from German insights and lifestyle.
- I'm told that the practice in German elections is that a candidate can speak only of themselves and their plans and not speak ill of others..
- This practice also extends to the store clerks who only show you the merchandise and do not try to flatter you and encourage you to purchase the item.
- Recent German visitors, upon seeing so many graves at Arlington Cemetery, spoke highly and respectfully of the willingness of Americans to give their lives for the freedom of others around the world.
- These same visitors at Arlington, surrounded by the hundreds of eighth-graders also present in the cemetery, felt that American teenagers were so much more respectful than was their experience with teenagers at home.
Once again I am indebted to the more than 2000 who let me reminisce and respond to their thoughtful questions. I'd hoped to leave the questions about WWII in next week's blog, but a fascinating response I received causes me to make one more (rather detailed) response. I hope you will check me out.