Freedom Quote: “You know you have a great country when even the people who detest it refuse to leave.” —Candace Owens

The Lonely SocietySun-tanned kids romped outside the remote and ramshackle old farmhouse on the hill, their happy voices ringing through the summer night. Parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts, and other adult relatives congregated outside the back door, sitting on wicker chairs, upturned buckets, even on the ground, laughing about old times and spinning yarns while the young played hide and seek, tag, and other childhood games, letting their imaginations run free.

Saturday night. When relatives and friends got together whenever possible to chat, laugh, and listen to Grand Ole Opry on a heavy battery-operated radio in an open window. The farmhouse was without electricity, which of course meant no air conditioning except for breezes whispering through windows; a wood-burning stove in the living room provided heat in the winter. Ma (grandmother) and Mom cooked over either a wood-burning or kerosene stove.

It was a different time, a different era, but not really that long ago.

These were raucous nights when kids possessed with imaginations pretended to be cops, firemen, airplane pilots, space travelers, boxers, movie stars… Anything and everything was possible. The sky was the limit. And whenever we wore out and the moon hung low, we piled around on the ground at the feet of the adults to listen to tales of when they were all kids. One by one we fell asleep and had to be carried inside and piled five or six to a bed.

We were busy and active by necessity. Not only in playing but also with chores—feeding the chickens, helping with the milking, drawing well water… Our lives revolved around each other rather than, as is so often the case in today’s world, around “smart” machines and “devices” and “social media.”

In today’s world, walk into any public place and more often than not be confronted with an almost surreal quiet—Mom and Dad engrossed in “texting” or “social media,” Junior and Little Miss hunkered over some electronic game punching buttons. The children are as pale as though sunshine has never touched their skin. Boys and girls alike are either overweight, childhood obesity being a national pandemic, or they appear undernourished from lack of physical activity and outdoor exercise.

Drive through many residential neighborhoods and the same silence prevails. We have become largely an “inside” world. Kids are more often than not isolated in their rooms over some device that serves as a baby sitter. Mom and Dad are likewise preoccupied each with his own “social media” device or in watching TV.

We have lost something vital in society between the era of the no-electricity farmhouse on the hill when children and adults actually went outside to play and interact with each other, compared to today’s world of “devices,” electronic games, social media, and the inevitable feelings of accompanying isolation and aloneness in which our young seem to prefer the company of machines over actual companions. When societal adhesion of lives revolving around each other meld into the chaos of lives lived through “devices.” Studies show that the United States has become the loneliest society in history.

Charles W. Sasser, professional writer and journalist, is author of over 60 books and thousands of magazine articles. He has written extensively on the collapse of civilization in books such as Going Bonkers: The Wacky World of Cultural Madness (2003) and Crushing the Collective: America’s Last Chance to Remain Free and Self-Governing. (2017). Both are available on Amazon or in bookstores.