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The Good Old Days
Those were the days my friend- or were they?
“The good old days”, is a common phrase used by people all over the world. Why is it that so many people long for yester-year? Could it be that we were young and carefree? Most of us had no debt to speak of, no politics to worry about and hopefully no sickness to lose sleep over. Were the good old days really that good or could it be that life today is just worse?
Generation and generation we long for the past and memorialize days gone by. We complain about the kids of today and take every opportunity to insert catch phrases such as, “In my day”, in an attempt to emphasize what we perceive as a superior era.
Even the composers of our respective generations feel the need to celebrate the past in song. There are numerous songs written about the subject such as, “Those were the Days my Friend” where we danced forever and a day and “Yesterday”, where all our troubles seemed so far away, and in many instances even non-existent at that point in our lives.
However, perhaps the good old days were not really that good. Maybe ignorance is in fact bliss and we simply did not know what lie ahead just around the bend. Could it be that now we simply remember the good memories and bury the bad ones? It has been said that time heals all wounds but what if our wounds are not really being healed? What if we simply force ourselves to forget the bad memories and remember the good ones? This could be a reason for believing that the good old days were actually good.
Although some would deny it, if given the chance how many of us would really want relive the past? Maybe it is not so much our desire to remember those good old days as it is our fear of the future. The older we get, the more cognizant we become of our mortality. Sickness and death become a reality.
At a certain point in our lives we abruptly get a slap of reality when we realize that we are attending more funerals than weddings! Old age often gives way to depression, sickness and death. This is where our memories, or should I say selective memories, provide some enjoyment by letting us stroll down memory lane.
Our memories should be cumulative celebration of all victories and achievements throughout our lives; however they should also serve as a roadmap to avoid future pitfalls and tragedies. Embrace life today, since in all likelihood the future will transform today into the good old days!