The world has changed

Since the time when I was a child, a lot has changed.  I was born in 1962 and am 50 years old at the time that I am writing this article.  Can you imagine the changes that the world has seen in my lifetime.  I would argue that in the span of the past 50 years the world has seen more change than in any other 50 year span in history.  I mean think about the things that have changed.

On the day that I was born, for the first time a man orbited the earth.  My parents have told me about how during my birth, the doctors would keep leaving the delivery room to go check on how John Glenn’s earth orbit was going.  Since that day, we have landed men on the moon.  We have lots of satellites orbiting the earth and providing things like communication and such.  We have technology like GPS and such.  Like I say, a lot of things have changed in the 50 years that I have roamed the earth.

Children in the Strawberry Field

Children in the Strawberry Field

I am an entrepreneur.  I like to come up with new businesses.  It is fun for me, and I enjoy it a lot.  I personally believe that I started developing my entrepreneurial skills at the age of about 10 years old.  Maybe even a bit earlier.  When I was 10, I got my first job.  I picked strawberries at a farm about 40 miles from where I lived.  Every morning I would get up early, around 3am, and walk in to town where I would catch a bus that would take me to the strawberry farm.  We got paid based on how many strawberries we would pick.  I did that for one summer, and earned a lot of money for a 10 year old.  You know what?  A 10 year old could not do that these days.  Can you imagine the outcry that would be all over TV and the Internet?  Child labor!  Exploited Children!  It would be huge.  I don’t know, it never hurt me.  In fact, it helped me become the person who I am today.

I did not grow up in a poor family where I had to work to help my parents make it.  No, actually, my family was an upper middle class family.  My dad had a good job.  My mom was a stay at home mother, as most women were back in those days.  So, I was not forced to get a job, or to work.  I did it because I wanted to, it was fun to me.  I enjoyed having some money in my pocket, even at a young age.

Modern child entrepreneur?

Modern child entrepreneur?

In my later childhood years, starting at 11 or so, I became the entrepreneur that I am today.  Instead of getting a job from somebody else,  I started my own businesses.  I never really thought of it like that, but that is exactly what I did.  I had a babysitting service.  I had a lawn care and gardening business.  I sold rare items at school (got in trouble for that one, though).  I always had at least a couple of businesses going, and I was always making money.  With my money, I would support my hobbies, some of which were expensive.  I enjoyed bicycling, and I always had a very nice bike, which I bought with my own money, except for my first bike, which my father helped me buy (he paid half).  I was always interested in electronics and especially shortwave radio, and my businesses afforded me the opportunity to purchase radio equipment.  A friend was also into shortwave radio, and he and I would go almost every weekend on the bus to visit different radio stores around Los Angeles.  Of course, I could only do it on weekends when I didn’t have any jobs lined up.

In today’s world, from time to time we hear about kids who make it big in some kind of unexpected business.  But, it is rare now for kids to work compared to when I was a kid.

I often encourage my kids to come up with some kind of business, usually I suggest something on the Internet.  So far, it has not happened, but I do hope to see my kids take up something that they can start off while they are still kids.  I believe that my encouraging my kids to work probably goes against what most parents do these days.  I personally believe that few parents encourage such activity from kids.  However, as I said earlier, I believe that my work and business activities as a child encouraged me and molded me into the person I am today.  I would not trade it for anything, because I am happy with the person that I became.  Life is good.

If any kids read this, I would love to hear from you about your thoughts on working as a child, starting a business, or really anything along these lines.  Grown ups can comment too! :lol:

Comments

  1. says

    Great article Bob. It’s true, hardly any kids today work. In my humble opinion, kids today are spoiled (I sound like my Mom). A lot of kids today… 12 years old has a $700 toy? (iPhone), or an iPad? What about a 50″ tv in their own room with an xbox, Playstation, etc. They’re wearing $500 shoes, driving $100K cars… and for what? I can hear their parents saying, “because I can afford it”. Really?

    I can afford it too, but my son doesn’t have those things unless he buys it himself.

    Their parents aren’t doing their kids any favors or justice “giving” them everything without working for it. Sure, good grades, that’s great, reward them. But not with the type of rewards I see kids receiving today. Again, their parents aren’t doing them favors. Most kids in this type of family doesn’t know the value of the dollar, hardwork and sense of accomplishment.

    I think you have a good mindset and your parents have given you the option to work and become independent. I look back now and I’m glad my Mom did the same thing. I started working when I was 13 at Baskin & Robbins – Yumm! LOL it was hard work and till this day, I’m rewarded not only monetarily, but the sense of accomplishment. Thanks for the great article Bob.

  2. says

    Great article Bob. It’s true, hardly any kids today work. In my humble opinion, kids today are spoiled (I sound like my Mom). A lot of kids today… 12 years old has a $700 toy? (iPhone), or an iPad? What about a 50″ tv in their own room with an xbox, Playstation, etc. They’re wearing $500 shoes, driving $100K cars… and for what? I can hear their parents saying, “because I can afford it”. Really?

    I can afford it too, but my son doesn’t have those things unless he buys it himself.

    Their parents aren’t doing their kids any favors or justice “giving” them everything without working for it. Sure, good grades, that’s great, reward them. But not with the type of rewards I see kids receiving today. Again, their parents aren’t doing them favors. Most kids in this type of family doesn’t know the value of the dollar, hardwork and sense of accomplishment.

    I think you have a good mindset and your parents have given you the option to work and become independent. I look back now and I’m glad my Mom did the same thing. I started working when I was 13 at Baskin & Robbins – Yumm! LOL it was hard work and till this day, I’m rewarded not only monetarily, but the sense of accomplishment. Thanks for the great article Bob.

  3. says

    Great article Bob. It’s true, hardly any kids today work. In my humble opinion, kids today are spoiled (I sound like my Mom). A lot of kids today… 12 years old has a $700 toy? (iPhone), or an iPad? What about a 50″ tv in their own room with an xbox, Playstation, etc. They’re wearing $500 shoes, driving $100K cars… and for what? I can hear their parents saying, “because I can afford it”. Really?

    I can afford it too, but my son doesn’t have those things unless he buys it himself.

    Their parents aren’t doing their kids any favors or justice “giving” them everything without working for it. Sure, good grades, that’s great, reward them. But not with the type of rewards I see kids receiving today. Again, their parents aren’t doing them favors. Most kids in this type of family doesn’t know the value of the dollar, hardwork and sense of accomplishment.

    I think you have a good mindset and your parents have given you the option to work and become independent. I look back now and I’m glad my Mom did the same thing. I started working when I was 13 at Baskin & Robbins – Yumm! LOL it was hard work and till this day, I’m rewarded not only monetarily, but the sense of accomplishment. Thanks for the great article Bob.

  4. Dave says

    I believe that a person was born in the late 1890’s, and lived over 100 years, that person would have seen more advances in mankind then all prior advances made since the human being stood up on two feet.
    That person would have witnessed going from a horse and buggy to putting a man on the moon and supersonic flight. From the telegraph to the internet and cell phones.

    • Robert Martin says

      Very, very true, Dave. Can you imaging the changes that a person who lived in that time span witnessed. If you would have told that person at a young age of the things that would come during his lifetime, all he could have done is laughed at you. A man on the moon? Impossible!

      • Dave says

        Over the years, I have had the pleasure to talk at length with people close to there Century birthday and had all their mental faculties.
        One in particular was a man named Willie.
        Back in the mid 60’s, my family visited my mom’s family in southern Illinois. One of my mom’s cousins had her husbands uncle living with them. He was 98 years old, born in 1867, never married. At the age of 16 he was cleaning a muscat and it went off in his face and he lost an eye. At 65 he thought he was going crazy and he checked himself in a mental institution for a year. My mom’s cousin family lived on a farm and “Uncle Wille” would get up at 4 am and help with the chores.
        He was a staunch Republican and when he turned 100 in 1967 he received a congratulations letter from then President Johnson, needless to say he was upset coming from a Democrat.
        He passed away in late 1969 at the ripe old age of 102.

        • Robert Martin says

          Wow, Dave, can you imagine the things that person saw! Amazing. If he died in late ’69, then he must have seen the moon landing too, if he still had his health at the time!

  5. Donna West says

    My oldest son who is 45 now used to detassle corn in the test fields in Iowa when he was a very young teen. It was hot and hard work but like you, he liked having a little money of his own. These days, people would not approve of using “children” to do that kind of work And, oh yes, things have changed a lot in the last 50 years. I wish i could go back 50 years even if i had to give up all the modern and techno things we have now. back then, families were close, neighbors were neighborly and you could do business on a handshake. Oh how I miss those days.

    • Robert Martin says

      Hi Donna – I also miss many things about the old days… although I must admit that I love the technology that is at our fingertips today. Image, even just communicating through a website like you and I are doing right now would have been impossible 50 years ago. In fact, neither of us would know anything about each other, and really would have no way of knowing each other. Yeah, there were real pluses back then, but we have pluses now too (and minuses, of course).

  6. says

    Hi Gerry – glad you enjoyed the article. I can’t agree more about the things that are given to kids these days, and really not much expected from them in return! Perhaps that is why the younger generation have so little respect!

  7. says

    Hi Gerry – glad you enjoyed the article. I can’t agree more about the things that are given to kids these days, and really not much expected from them in return! Perhaps that is why the younger generation have so little respect!

  8. says

    Hi Gerry – glad you enjoyed the article. I can’t agree more about the things that are given to kids these days, and really not much expected from them in return! Perhaps that is why the younger generation have so little respect!

  9. says

    I agree Bob. One of my son’s friends got a beautiful Mercedes $87K car when this kid turned 16…. 4 months later, he totalled the car. Thank God he was okay and he didn’t hurt anybody else. Guess what his Father did as soon as they walked out of the hospital? Yup, you got it, got him another expensive car. We couldn’t believe it! We couldn’t say anything, but I told my son to expect my old, hand-me-down car when he starts driving. LOL Last I heard, this kid didn’t go to college even though his parents got him in several Ivy Leagues, just hanging around the house and I remember one time I heard he called his Mom a dummy! I almost said something, but didn’t. So disrespectful.

  10. says

    I agree Bob. One of my son’s friends got a beautiful Mercedes $87K car when this kid turned 16…. 4 months later, he totalled the car. Thank God he was okay and he didn’t hurt anybody else. Guess what his Father did as soon as they walked out of the hospital? Yup, you got it, got him another expensive car. We couldn’t believe it! We couldn’t say anything, but I told my son to expect my old, hand-me-down car when he starts driving. LOL Last I heard, this kid didn’t go to college even though his parents got him in several Ivy Leagues, just hanging around the house and I remember one time I heard he called his Mom a dummy! I almost said something, but didn’t. So disrespectful.

  11. says

    I agree Bob. One of my son’s friends got a beautiful Mercedes $87K car when this kid turned 16…. 4 months later, he totalled the car. Thank God he was okay and he didn’t hurt anybody else. Guess what his Father did as soon as they walked out of the hospital? Yup, you got it, got him another expensive car. We couldn’t believe it! We couldn’t say anything, but I told my son to expect my old, hand-me-down car when he starts driving. LOL Last I heard, this kid didn’t go to college even though his parents got him in several Ivy Leagues, just hanging around the house and I remember one time I heard he called his Mom a dummy! I almost said something, but didn’t. So disrespectful.

  12. Steve Davenport says

    Bob,

    Hmm, yeah, we’re suffering from an over reaction to the satanic mills of the late 19th century where children worked 12 hours per day under deplorable conditions.

    As a kid I enjoyed mowing the neighbors’ lawns for money and selling X-mas trees and candy by the road in front of our house. It was a real thrill to have money in hand with comparatively little effort.

    Steve

    • Robert Martin says

      Hi Steve – Well, there are only a few people on the earth who lived at all in the 19th century, so I am not so sure that we are living in a state of overreaction to that. There was some such work in the early 20th century, up until the 1930’s or so, so that may be part of it too. But, another thing we face is that there just are not many jobs these days, thus limiting what kids can do. For some reason, we parents have become too easy on our kids too. A little work like you and I did would be good for our children, though!

  13. Philip says

    Good Morning Bob, hope you and your family are all well. It was really interesting in reading your article this morning, it is always a pleasure to read your website, you are of similar vintage to me and I come from a family history where they were a mixture of hard work and sport both seemed to bring great satisfaction to all of us. I lived near the beach and learnt to surf at an early age and loved the beach but when I was 12 years of age my father and grandfather were killed in a car crash so that was hard to take, my mum remarried and we went to a country farm where we had to work very hard which was a good up bringing, I remember my stepfather made me walk 5 klmts through flood water and brown snakes so I could get to school on time and that was scary if you know about Australian brown snakes but my brother and I every day had to chop wood to get hot water or we had a cold shower in a freezing cold winter so that wood was chopped everyday afternoon after school, we had sheep wheat and cattle and had two droughts and two floods that was a big experience but we then moved and went out different ways and I ventured into a business as did my parents. Both my brother and I were good at sport so we combined that as well but what you were saying is true in the way that it is very hard to get the young ones just to wash up after dinner. You say when I was a boy you had to do this and that and they say that was in the dinasour days, you have to laugh but so many things have changed over the years some good some very bad, but there is one thing for sure nothing stays the same as we watched our world record holders and champions with the fastest man in the world from our country in the pool not even get a medal after they were odds on favourites that old history did not last long before the french created a new record for the history books. But no matter what happens so long as everyone is happy and healthy to the best they can be in this world history can change every minute of the day so long as it a change for the better of peace, harmony and love between all human beings the world would be a better place. Take Care
    Philip

    • Robert Martin says

      Hi Philip – Thanks for sharing your story there in Australia! I am not familiar with the Aussie brown snakes, though! It does sound like your childhood and mine had some similarities, though. It was a good life, don’t you think?

      • Philip says

        Hi Bob yeah it was a good life and a hard up bringing that showed respect to fellow man the brown snakes are one of the most lethal snakes in the world one bite and you are in trouble so best to keep away from them but nothing like hard work to bring family and people together that and sport make the world go around good to hear from you bob I can’t until I get there I hope to meet you and your family one day Bob i don’t know if you have a quiet ale or a cup of tea but it would be good to share some stories about the old times and the new times if you don’t mind an Aussie bloke

        • Robert Martin says

          Hi Philip – Any time you are in Davao, I would be happy to meet you! Don’t worry, I won’t hold it against you that you are an Aussie! ;-) Just joking, my friend.

  14. Philip says

    sorry Bob a slight error in the story can’t wait add to my comment to many ales I guess today or just getting old and miss cued on the type writer every one makes mistakes I guess take care

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