Rethinking the Good Old Days
My mother used to say that memory has a way of improving on things.
So many people tell me that things on the planet are just getting worse. They want to return to the good old days. In some ways, I agree with them.
Financially, things were certainly easier a few decades ago. I hate to say it, but I think our personal freedoms have been trod on terribly in the past ten years. I hate to see Mom and Pop shops replaced by big box corporate stores.
So I get what people are saying when they long for the good old days.
On the other hand, let’s think about this.
Prior to 1967, interracial marriage was not legal in every state of our country. That’s right – you could go to jail for marrying outside of your race.
Prior to the 1960’s most banks wouldn’t extend credit to women. Her credit was her husband’s. An unmarried woman was not credit-worthy.
Prior to the passage of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, many species of birds and butterflies were being decimated by DDT.
I remember the Cold War in the 1980’s. We were sure a world-scale nuclear war was right around the corner.
So, to which of those good old days do we want to return?
Yes, things sure are messed up. Yes, we have a long way to go to become the just and fair society we know we can be. But let’s stop looking to the past and start looking to the future. We can’t ever go back to the past. Frankly, I wouldn’t want to. But we can go forward to the future. We can make our future the best times ever. We won’t do that by pining for the past. We will do that by being hopeful and proactive about the future.