The Myth Of The Good Ole Days

“They don’t make ‘em like they used too.”

“Back in my day…”

“When I was a kid…”

Growing up I heard all of these phrases and thought nothing of them. But now when I reflect on these phrases and the people who said them I think that I am just now becoming able to understand what they really were: discontent. Were the “good ole days” really that good? I mean gas might have been less than a dollar but an African-American person would not have been allowed to drink from the same water fountain as me. Good for who? It really depends doesn’t it?

Have you seen the movie Midnight in Paris? I recently watched this again and for the first time one of the main messages of the movie finally sunk in. Everyone has a time in the past that they have romanticized as been the “Golden Age.” A time when creativity was actually creative, fashion was art, and intelligent conversation was the norm. Like Owen Wilson’s character, I’ve discovered that the people in the whatever past “Golden Age” I’ve chosen to romanticize did the same thing about some time even further back down the timeline. In 100 years when I’m dead and gone someone will think that my present was the “good ole days.”  A perpetual loop of fantasy and discontent. Sad, huh?

It doesn’t have to be. Why not be a good finder in your life every day? There are so many good things right in front of our faces. Sure, cars might not be as durable but they’re infinitely safer. Good is everywhere all the time. When I’m having trouble finding it I just think of something, one thing that happened that day that I am thankful for. Be careful though, gratitude is powerful and will change you life. I’m reminded of what a wise ancient teacher said:

“Do not say, ‘Why is it that the former days were better than these?’ For it is not from wisdom that you ask about this.”

Be a good finder. I know you can do it. You’ve done it before and you’ll do it again. Why not make it a habit? If you do, your “good ole days” will be today, tomorrow, the next day, the day after that, the day after that…