As a child growing up in the 1950's, I had a lot of freedoms, as the world was a much more innocent place back then. I grew up playing along the banks and sandbars of the Mississippi River, climbing trees, exploring cliffs and caves, and walking the shoreline. I spent entire days there, walking among the trees, enjoying the solitary quiet that nature offered. I can still smell the sumac that grew everywhere, and taste the wild grapes that hung in glorious bunches. I walked in the water, but never more than ankle deep.
I loved the river. Yet for all it's beauty, I knew it could--and would--take my life in a heartbeat, if I ventured too far out. Currents and drop-offs were always there, just waiting. I respected the river for it's power, and in turn it respected me and allowed me to play there safely.
THIS is what is missing today--RESPECT. Hardly anyone respects anyone or anything now, and I find it sad. Life would be so much nicer and more peaceful if everyone would just show some respect for others.