Thursday, June 21, 2012

A Different World

“Back in the day“…as we get older so many of us find ourselves uttering that phrase. We think back to an earlier part of our life to when it all seemed to be so much more fun, safe, simple or just made more sense. Often we look back at our clothes, movies, and music as a reminder of how it used to be.

Recently I saw an old episode of a show that I loved watching when I was young… “A Different World”. It was a spin-off to the highly popular “Cosby Show”. Originally it was based around one of the older daughters “Denise Huxtable” and her first years away at college. Though the show grew into so much more; following the lives of other students after she left, starring a lot of actors & actresses that went on to have very successful careers, the part that stuck with me while watching this throwback to rayon shirts & flat top hair cuts was the theme song.

“I know my parents love me,
Stand behind me come what may.
I know now that I'm ready,
Because I finally heard them say
It's a different world from where you come from...”

It was so simple but real. When the show came on back in the late 80’s early 90’s the theme song was just an alarm to let me know it was on, but listening to it now I found myself thinking, “why am I not hearing this message anymore?”

“Here's a chance to make it,
If we focus on our goals.
If you dish it we can take it,
Just remember you've been told
It's a different world from where you come from…”

In this age of rampant running entitlement and coddling of children until they are nowhere near prepared for the real world, where is this message? Yes my parents love me. Yes they stand behind me. It will be hard but they’ve prepared me for life. It’s not going to be the same when I leave home, but that’s okay. If I stay focused, if I work hard I can make it. What happened?

I know television images changed after Cosby and the Coogi sweaters left, but can we please inject some of this back into the mindsets of not only these kids but their parents? Let these kids know there is no “Jordan Fairy” that drops off free $150 shoes while they sleep. “Swag” is not a marketable job skill, and no one is going to pay you to be cute unless it’s for a set hourly rate with “extras” or involves “clear heels”. Raise them, teach them well, then push these little birds out the nest and trust in the job you spent nearly 2 decades working at.

Back in the day…

As much as I would love to take things back to a little more interactive parenting, family togetherness, & a pair of flip-top glasses…maybe it’s me that has to realize…

“It’s a different world from where you come from.”

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Generic License.


  1. Here are some comments left on :

    "Our Kids now a days are all about whatever they see on tv. Its scares the crap out of me too." K.B.

  2. "I agree that the Cosby message was positive, however TV has always been a different world. Since it is a medium that we don't have control over, the message that it spreads will always be part of someone else's agenda. Madison Avenue and Hollywood are very influential indeed and their message is mainly about preserving the status quo. We need to teach our young folks how to achieve their own level of empowerment but first we have to counter the poor self image that we are bombarded with daily in the mass media. None of us will ever be wealthy or middle class white men, so the very first thing we have to do is to dispell the myth that these people are in any real sense "better" than anyone else. This will never happen if we continue to give any credence to the nonsence that is delivered to us by the mass media." -W.P.

  3. "Great post. Ultimately, I think the ideal thing would be that parents get back to raising and teaching their kids, PERIOD. Stop allowing the television to instill the media's "values" and agenda, if you will. Teach them a trade while they're still young, so that they know how to do something other than go searching for someone to give them a job (which may not happen for many, no matter how much schooling they have). All of that may be too much to ask for though, considering that nowadays some parents MAY feel that they're being good parents by providing the $150 Jordans, or the smartphone to the 11 year old,etc. Not to say any of it is wrong,per se. However, children do need to learn that they aren't entitled to anything and they need to WORK to get what they want, because once they FINALLY become independent, no one will be purchasing those things for them." -T.T.