I could not disagree more with Clouds Among Us. This saying refers to us older people who remember our youth as a pretty naive time, when we could have used the wisdom that comes with age and experience to make better decisions, have more confidence, and experience life more fully in our youth. That is it, pure and simple. It does not in any way carry the negative dreadful connotations that are expressed by Clouds.
Yet, I must take a moment to acknowledge those concerns, and I share most of them. However, this saying does not refer to this.