Saturday, July 13, 2013

Romanticizing the past...


The past is never where you think you left it." ~ Katherine Anne Porter
How many times in our life have we heard of how things “used to be”? I have always been fascinated by that – our romanticizing of the past.  We always hear that things "used to be" better. People "used to be" happier. Society "used to be" less corrupt. What is the source of these declarations?

I’m not making a value judgment here. Perhaps there is some truth to these statements. But did things really used to be better? They certainly weren’t for certain segments of society.
I can’t help but wonder if it’s simply a romanticizing of the past. We always look at the past through rose-colored glasses. Over time, our memories seem to exaggerate the good and minimize the bad.

We do the same thing with our personal lives as well.
Why do you think we romanticize the past? Do you find yourself doing this?

143 comments:

  1. Oh yeah, I think we all do this. I had a good childhood, so my memories of that time are magical. I think we definitely tend to exaggerate the good and minimize the bad - which is a great thing! Have you ever seen Midnight in Paris? Kind of deals with the same thing :)

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  2. I don't think we do this deliberately. It is just how our brains or minds work and it is not such a bad thing. If we think deeper, we can remember the bad, but that is not what comes to the fore.

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  3. I have seen people do this... especially or so it seems to me, the older we get, the more we are inclined to do this. And you are so right...It wasn't good for everyone!

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  4. I think it's because people tend to block out the bad stuff. However, I have never romanticized my high school years - I know they were awful.

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  5. I don't think I romanticize the past, but I do remember the good things. There were the not-so-positives too, but I don't think a person thinks about them as much. I do think that forever PLUS there was about the past there was also a MINUS, but our nostalgic focus may be on the PLUS.

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  6. As I get older I can hardly remember yesterday. Clearly we romanticize the past, exaggerate the good and diminish the bad and sometimes just make the whole thing up! Remember, History is written by the victors!

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  7. There were many things about my childhood that I enjoyed - but because of changes in society, children today don't have some of the same freedoms. I guess when I look back, I think things were better then - but in reality, they're just different. Kids enjoy different things today. Still - I think I'm glad I was a kid when I was.

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  8. There are to many thing that go inside that head of mine and remembering the past memories are one of them. Sometimes it's also what if. And that is something I don't like. Then again I remember incidents from my childhood and a smile lingers on my face.

    I guess I only remember the past so that it lights me up and I look forward to see I've another new day to make new memories !

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  9. I totally agree that we can all romanticize the past to a degree... you are right that there are good and bad to all time periods. Times were definitely simpler but that is because we didn't have the technology we have now.

    Some people complain about the technology but I think if it is used wisely it can bring us closer together... it is so easy to keep in contact now unlike it was in the past. I think there will always be arguments to both sides:)

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  10. Oh most definitely. We tend to remember the good things only. Also, our past is usually our childhood that we remember and, as children, we were really not aware of the harsher elements of life so naturally, that time looks rosier than the present.

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  11. i think that our past loses its edge the further we get from it...we also want to believe in something, the future is uncertain and the past is readily available...we remember the high points and forget the rough...its just different you know...i romanitcize childhood freedom and less responsibility, which now is a bit overwelming at times...

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  12. You make such a good point here, never thought about it like that. Perhaps we tend to remember the good things.

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  13. As we grow older and begin to lose our loved ones we do start reliving the past. I, personally, just relive the happy times as I have a selective memory! :-)

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  14. As a hardcore romantic I hate to admit this, but the past is definitely romanticized - - and in our dusty memories things often seem better than they really were.

    I do believe, however, that life has become much more complicated, generic, and colorless than it used to be. The true art of romanticism is slowly fading away. Perhaps that is why we so often cling to the past.

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  15. Nice post! I think it is impossible to forget the past esp the tragic past. But recalling only happy memories help tackle the present difficulties. It is natural for pple to cling to it. We all in some way keep romanticizing it

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  16. For me it's about missing the simplicity of the way my/our lives used to be -- I could go Trick or Treating with just my baby brother, take the caramel covered apple from the neighbor down the street without having to worry about being poisoned or throat cut with a blade -- we didn't have a fence around our back yard ... all the neighbors shared one long backyard space -- you didn't hear about hate crimes, rape and murder wasn't an everyday occurrence/news story, not EVERYONE hated this or that about the government -- I just think that when my kids are older and reflecting on "Remember When...." days ... they won't be "simple" things -- It will be, "Remember when Mom ALWAYS had to have us in her sight when we were out in public" .... "Remember when Dad always wanted to know the kids we hung out with" ... "Remember when we couldn't go out to play outside after dark unless Mom and/or Dad were with us" ....

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  17. We probably all do this the older we get.

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  18. I think you hit the nail right on the head when you said, "better for some segments of society." The poor class had no freebies as they do now..... if you call that better now. I know one thing for sure..... 60 years ago I was not afraid to walk alone at night, anywhere..... NYC... name it. Now I'd never do that.

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  19. I think we always remember the past better than it was.

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  20. I know when I look bak on my marriage I can only see the good times. I have blocked out all the negative abuse. Maybe that's to protect our precious mind and to give us hope for the future. If the past wasn't so bad, the future will be ok too.

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  21. Memory is magical. It can turn all the frustration, anger, pain into something unreal and untrue. I spend very little time in the past. I might review something in order to learn from it but I know they memories are not accurate. As far as the culture is concerned, yes, I think people put on those rose colored glasses when recalling earlier times but fail to see all the difficulties that were there too.

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  22. I guess I'm the fly in the ointment. I can handle a LITTLE bit of "the good ole days" talk. My mind goes numb after about 5 minutes. At 63 years, I love everything new. I embrace every single bit of new technology and anything new and improved. I think the memories of the past are just memories of existing in a cocoon created by not having access to the things we have today. If you could go back and live one day of that time, I believe you would hate it. Many of the things mentioned in previous comments are things people could still have today if they chose to. One reason things seem worse these days is that we are more aware because of increased social media and technology.

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  23. I think I'm more inclined to make my past out to be worse than it was, although some parts of it were genuinely terrible. Some are romanticised too. I think we just do it to cope.

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  24. This is a very thought-provoking post, Keith. Thank you. In many ways the past used to be worse. Women had less rights and were treated as inferior beings. Discrimination still exists but it is different now. In the past women were not even allowed to vote. Slavery was legal. Do they think that that is better?
    Now it is true that twenty years ago some cities were safer. But that is a different story. When I go back to the city where I was born I feel sad because it is a big mess. It is not safe anymore and there are too many people and too many cars. Overpopulation is a problem. People don't want to face the truth.
    On a personal level, no. I don't think I romanticize the past.
    Great post.

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  25. I've been trying to make sense of the disparate stories of my past, my husbands, and blogging bits and pieces of it all in between other blog posts. But there are so many things I don't know, will never know, and sometimes I can't even trust that my memory of what is true actually is something my imagination created to give meaning to an experience or to bridge one truth with another. I don't know that this is romanticizing, per se, but there is a tendency to catch myself blurring the truth to make the edges a little softer.

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  26. "The reason people find it so hard to be happy is that they always see the past better than it was, the present worse than it is and the future less resolved than it will be."
    -Marcel Pagnol

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    1. This, I think is the perfect answer. Great quote!

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  27. I wish I could romanticize the past. I seem to be happier in the present than I was in the past...so glad to leave so many things behind. I do, however, grieve over the visual cacophony that surrounds us in an appeal to "sell, sell, sell" the products associated with the images. Also, the presence of guns and violence seems more prevalent than in the innocent past of my childhood.

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  28. I read threw allot of the comments, and I go along with that things were different in the past-especially in our senior years looking back things are really different.
    I tend to romance about the 1800's I love that period of time for the pioneer spirit for those that did not live in larger cities-but living threw the civil war would not have been all that grand.
    I think it's also kind of a day dreaming event which is good for us too.

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  29. I don't think I romanticize the past. I don't have to. I had a great childhood. I was very lucky. Then I married my high school sweetheart and had two sons and I had a really good life. Then I messed it all up. I decided the grass was greener elsewhere. NOT! If I had stayed home and watered my own grass, I would still be in that happy life. Let me state that my sons were grown when I left. I didn't leave small children behind. That was 15 yrs ago.
    Now I am remarried, and happy, but things will never be the same. So no, I do not romanticize the past. I lived that great life.

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  30. Sometimes I do, although I try not to. I do realize that my view of my hometown and my life when I was younger is romanticized, but I also think it's helped me in terms of my writing since I base a lot of the towns that my stories are set in off of my hometown. When I notice myself starting to think, "those were the days," I always remind myself that I longed for something different back then. I usually think that in times of stress.

    Do you?

    And thanks for your comment on my blog just a little while ago! I'm glad you enjoy the pictures of my sweet puppy. I agree. I think she's really cute! :)

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  31. Probably it's that as humans we tend to forget the bad and remember the good. Also as kids, our lives were the only lives we knew, and we assumed everyone's was the same. As long as we were happy, it was good.

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  32. Forgot to say you chose the perfect photo to illustrate this post. And perfect quote, too.

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  33. Great topic and something to think about.
    I remember a time when everyone no matter how old could go fishing without a license anywhere, in a brook, in the sea and fish was plentiful.

    People didn't need a license to drive, you could leave your doors and windows of your house or car opened and your possessions were safe, you knew your next door neighbours, kids were safe to walk in their neighbourhoods, there were no school shooting, no road rage, kids were fit as a fiddle and walked quite a distance to school, moms were stay at home moms, families were larger and happier, grandparents who could not look after themselves were looked after by their family, families sat together at a specific time around the table to eat together and on Sunday families visited each other.

    There were no rushing from meetings to meetings, no telemarketer calling you all the time of day or night, no people walking around intently focused on their electronic gadgets,

    Travelling to far away countries wasn't as dangerous as today, no one needed a passport to go from Canada to the US and flying was not as complicated as today.

    Kids didn't need brand name clothing and footwear to feel accepted at school.
    People worked hard for a living and felt they were contributing and felt good about themselves. Anybody who wanted to work could find a job.

    Not everything was good of course but there was less pressures on society as there is now. So yes, I romanticize the past and I look on the past because of all the freedom we lost and I would love for my grandkids to have the freedom I grew up with.

    People are more free to be themselves now than in the past but in being so, have crossed the line of acceptable behaviour at times. (sorry for the long comment. Your question has caused me to reflect on the past)

    JB

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  34. I was just thinking about this the other day! I was reminiscing about a time, when in reality I was absolutely miserable, but now I only remember the little moments and habits that I actually enjoyed. Although I think it's better to remember the good things, it can be odd to miss and yearn for a time which we originally couldn't wait to escape.

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  35. Great photo of the past. I don't think things used to be better in the past. It was rough no matter what you did. But people had manners, morals and common sense. People worked hard for what they had. Were proud of that work. Proud of what they had. Helped neighbors with chores. etc. People now don't even know their next door neighbor. Even if they live 50 feet away. I also guess it depends on the era you grew up in. Childhood is always a better time! No responsibilities! :)
    You can come swim with the cows anytime! :) They'd love it!
    Have a wonderful day!
    Cheri

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  36. It's interesting because it's something of a reversal. At the time, the bad is magnified. Later, the good. Maybe we just can't be realistic fully in any instance. It seems as though people aren't striving every day to be their best, only in certain periods of time. I would have to say that I personally don't romanticize it much. I just sort of reflect and smoke or cringe depending on the memory. My future is what I dream of more. Great writing. :)

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  37. I think there are times in our past that were perfect. Like the birth of our firstborn. It's a feeling that we smile about every time we reflect on that event. That's why I think we romanticize about our past.

    Have a fabulous day. :)

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  38. I agree that we do look at the past through rose-colored glasses. We seem to forget the parts of it that weren't very good, and how far we've advanced in many ways. I believe that one of the reasons may simply be that we were much younger, and with youth comes a more carefree life.

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  39. I believe our perceptions and emotions color our memories. Add in a little or a lot of mental re-visting and it becomes very creative!!! I like being here now with differing perspectives and though provoking connections.
    Thank you Keith, have a fabulous weekend.

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  40. Very thought provoking post !

    If our past experiences were good then we say that period was better. If the present is better and past events were bitter, we want to forget the past and sign up for "healing the pain of the past classes" :)

    Thanks for the comment on my blog.

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  41. No - the past is a nice place to visit but I don't want to live there. It is good to remember your past, and discuss it, maybe, but only with the people who shared those moments with you - that's not romanticizing - that's remembering. I'm a cranky old person and I've always railed against nostalgia and 'the good old days", mostly because they weren't but, to my chagrin, recently I have actually said 'when I was young.." but I think perhaps I was referring to music....

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  42. sometimes, yes. i think it is easier to forget the bad times if we gloss them over with brightening the good ones.

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  43. I definitely do. For me it's the bigger picture that I romanticise rather than my own past. Yesterday I was doing the charity shops in a certain part of town, there's quite a few, and there was a man doing them at the same time. Each and every time our paths crossed he went first through the door or wherever, without acknowledging me, and I distinctly thought about how a lot of men are less gentlemanly now. And when I let people out in traffic and they don't say thank you, I think people's manners are not what they used to be. But I'm sure if I went back to 1965 there were rude people then too? Having said that, somebody surprises me now and again by being unexpectedly delightful, and I remember that for longer than the slights so it's not all bad.

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  44. I have to agree with Andrews comment above.
    I certainly find myself doing this and I think it is because we are able to see past the bad and build on everything that is good in life.

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  45. I think we do romanticize to a greater or lesser degree but... There was a time when my husband and bought our first tiny house and then the kids came along that I remember as warm and nurturing. Yet, it was a time that also made me angry, sad and frustrated. The world around us was in turmoil, protests and death, Vietnam, Kent State, Ireland was imploding and our leaders being assassinated.

    A huge recession came and many were out of work (much like now). But home was happy even the winter I had to get up and take my pregnant self and a toddler to the gas station at 3am to fill up as hubbie worked nights and couldn't do it. Rose colored glasses? The mind does funny things to keep you going. I think of our family then warmly and with love. For myself I think it is more about a time when we were strong and hopeful rather than life being so great. Something in us wishes for that again. A longing for a life with more possibilities perhaps.

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  46. Interesting topic! I do both. I think so many things were simpler in the past. Today's world is so busy, so hurried and extremely impersonal. In that regard, I know I romanticize the past. But I'm also a woman and I know how women were treated in the past....how they had to go through childbirth without any help/drugs....how women couldn't show any emotion with being labeled "hysterical", etc and I thank my lucky stars that I'm alive now. As with anything, there are great things about the past but there are many negative things as well!

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  47. I think that's one reason why Facebook is so hugely popular. People like looking into their past and seeing something they recognize.

    I used to romanticize the past. I don't think I do anymore. Old age makes you a little bit smarter. Not much, but a little bit. :)

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  48. ha, the reality came crumbling down when I got to read my old journals with first hand account of my relationship with my first boyfriend...the memory is unreliable ;-)

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  49. Remember the Israelites in the desert? They had been slaves, and now were eating the food of God, but before long they started romanticizing Egypt and wanted to go back!!! After years of trying to be free. We need to concentrate on this day, it is the only sure thing we have!

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  50. Perhaps we tend to remember the happier moments. :)

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  51. No I don't think I romanticize the past - the good and the bad - it came and it went. I always think, that the best is yet to be or I'd just be saying ....'Is that it?'

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  52. Whenever I'm tempted to romanticize the past, I remember that I'm writing this on my smart phone.
    I would like to have my brown hair back, though.

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  53. I constantly have to remind myself to keep the past unadorned, although it is sometimes a losing battle because I love history and memories so much.

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  54. My children are my way back, remembering the good times. I don't dwell on some missed rosy past, but I would like my looks back!

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  55. Perhaps there's a bit of cognitive dissonance. The way life existed at a certain time when things were predictable, and we were happy, becomes our standard. That period of time represents what's "real." When time goes on, and our realities change, we have to accept something new. We long for that previous reality.

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  56. I like, very much, making the best of this moment. This day.

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  57. No, I don’t romanticise the past.
    We also say: the good old, bad old days. I think mankind has come a long way since we lived in caves.
    We may still be as bad as we ever were but we know about it and most of us try to do better.
    Most of the time.

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  58. There is a lot of good in the past. And a lot of bad. I think when we look back, we tend to see the good.

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  59. I live in the now and look forward, with realistic positive anticipation, to an even better future.

    The past shapes the now. What we learn from it is what matters.

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  60. As a writer of historical fiction, I can say that my research suggests things in the past were usually much worse than they are today. People just like to forget -- or maybe they prefer their bad things kept quiet and swept under a rug.

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  61. Yes, indeed I do....a few things I could live without....living in constant threat of terrorism and the effects on travel industry...lack of privacy (facebook and the like)...vulgar clothing + language + attitude (quite common in big cities)...I agree that the improvements in science and technology are wonderful but humanity is rudely destroying the earth, environment and itself....painful topic

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  62. I absolutely LOVE the 50's style of dressing and even the kitchen appliances/bakeware/tools/etc. But, I don't necessarily think that it was better. I figure people back then had the same TYPE of problems as today -- family, money, love, war, etc. Only, different because it was a different time.

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  63. I think we all probably do this from time to time. I know I do. :)

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  64. I do for certain things. Medicine, doctor care, travel and communication and technology are better.

    Food, well I wish we'd go back to the way things were. All the crappy oils and hormones are bad! We use way too much plastics now a days.

    I feel like women's rights was a good thing, but now most families both parents work. That's the down fall of it. I wish I, or my husband could have stayed home with my kids. Society has kind of lead us to both parents needing to work.

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  65. Memories construct of both-good and bad things, that did happen once....but we tend to remember and romanticize the good ones only..ain't we always told to hold onto good memories and let go off the bad ones...

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  66. One of the kindnesses time provides is to put a filter on our memories. Yes, as you say, maybe we do have an enhanced image of how good the good things were, but we also enjoy a reduced memory of the bad.

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  67. We just went to see the Lone Ranger today and I have to admit that I miss the happiness and positiveness of the past!
    sandie

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  68. People of the past had problems that we couldn't even imagine. I don't think the past (in an era sort of way) was better or worse, just different. When I romanticize the past, it's about those fun college days. I have two kids out of college and one currently in, who'd all agree, college days are the best.

    http://joycelansky.blogspot.com

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  69. I agree with Chatty Crone, people were more positive and happier in the past. Today people just seem so unhappy and cruel.

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  70. I find myself romanticizing school, college, time spent with family at different places, holidays spent with family, old coworkers etc.

    Fun thing: You must be knowing India is a developing country, and as such the economy and society here are developing. One of my mom's colleagues recently shifted to Canada, and she tells us the Indians living there have 'romanticized' India for themselves. For example, if someone went there in the 1940s, they are likely to think people in India do not have refrigerators or even electricity for that matter. You touched a funny cord here :-)

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  71. I agree with you, Keith. I am certainly guilty of this, but I think I do it much less now. It gets us nowhere, and keeps us from savoring the present moment.
    Although I do have a tendency to romanticize everything in general... :)
    Enjoy your Sunday!!
    - Irina

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  72. I remember the past pretty accurately, and that is usually an advantage, but sometimes it's like a faithful pet that likes to chew things up. Must be some surefire way to train it but I haven't hit upon it yet.

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  73. Good morning Keith:)
    I don't look back with nostalgia.I am who I am, because of all the good and bad experiences of the past. Keeping your own values but being accepting of change can lead to new and exciting things. Each decade of my life has taught me something valuable, and I'm grateful for every year I'm still alive, and look forward to what today will bring. Life is what you make of it today.
    Have a good Sunday:=)

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  74. I think I romanticise the future - next year is going to be perfect... until I get there and realise it's actually just the same as last year. I'm pretty accurate with my past... it wasn't as good as it could have been.

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  75. I will forever contend that the 80's were fabulous times for music and fashion! I say bring back the 80's! LOL! Take care
    x

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  76. There is nothing wrong accepting things that are better at past... The past hold bad as well good, so it is we who take which one for granted.

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  77. Interesting question, Keith. Historically, the past is sometimes romanticized, glossing over problems that led to some issues still in the world today. And personally, denial makes one try to make the past less painful to remember. I think with greater awareness both personally and on a social level can help to assess the past and learn from it ... to bring about change. Thanks for your philosophical thought of the day :)

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  78. Selective memory has its moments of romanticism for the past, but I will take the present any day. It's all good...

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  79. Yes, it´s true... maybe because people only see one side of reality (not the whole picture) when they talk about history or are prone to forget the bad moments, to magnify the good ones and what is worse to sweeten reality (and I am not talking about positive thinking) when they talk about their own lives. I think it can be a surviving strategy and a doubled-edged sword

    But not me... I think I don´t have that nostalgic gene, I think the past could always have been better... maybe because I have the guilt gene ;-)

    However, I am learning to leave the past aside and focus on the present moment

    Have a nice Sunday!

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  80. I think I do this sometimes, but not all that often. I think it is part of reminiscing...and dwelling on past negatives can be common as well. Living in the now and making the most of today is definitely the healthiest perspective.

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  81. My husband has a book called something like "The Good Old Days, Were Really Awful". I think some things are much better now and some things are worse. I like the past and am excited for the future, but mostly want to focus on enjoying today. Thanks for another interesting post!

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  82. history is written by the winners ...or something like that

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  83. some things were better, but also i think there's a tendency to become disillusioned as you get older, disappointed by the present and taking solace in the past

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  84. I do not romanticize my past but sometimes I miss the simplicity of life in India. We were not very affluent but for some reason it did seem like we had a lot.

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  85. PS. Thanks for sending my post to some one who liked it.

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  86. I really like to see how people think and write.
    And this is quite interesting, and incredible how it does relate to me. Then I have seen this post.

    I have done such, romanticizing the past , I think some people do it as well... for confort, relief, maybe hope of turning back. Yet, we have to come back to reality.

    Thank you so much for writing this , Keith.

    I look forward to hearing from you, my friend.

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  87. We certainly have so many conveniences that make our lives easier now. I romanticize some things, like less technology, more books, but I'm sure I watched a lot more TV as a child than I think! ;)

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  88. Oh yes I fear am guilty. Garrison Keillor stated that "humor is often just catastrophe in retrospect" which also implies events look better and kinder from a distance and are softened by time.

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  89. I think we all tend to sugar coat the past. Each generation has its burden.

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  90. I try to look forward and not look back as much as possible.

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  91. there are pluses and minuses to both present and past. But yeah the world has always been screwed up in some form or another.

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  92. I really try to look forward and leave the past where it belongs. In the past. But at times it's hard not to think back to perhaps when things were better....tough call.

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  93. I don't necessarily think that life was better in the past. Each time period has it's good and it's bad, but when it's bad, you are right. People will look back and try to convince themselves things were so much better way back when...

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  94. I do it all the time. I do it because I miss things, or because I'd love more of things I've loved in the past. Like John Hughes movies. Or Summers spent playing outdoors, and making up your own games because smart phones don't exist and families only owned one computer.

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  95. When current times seem overwhelming and awful, I think we do romanticize the past. The way things "used to be" seem better partly because we were comfortable with the way things were. We understood things. When the world changes, it takes us a while to catch up. I have some good memories, but I never want to go back to the past. Never.

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  96. I definitely think we romanticize the past because we look at our current situations and feel the weight of struggles. Then, without meaning to we are drawn to memories of the good times form the past and how "great" things used to be, merely because the moments from the past that were good, are better than the struggles we are facing right now.

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  97. I think we romanticize the past because things look and seem more simple yesterday. i guess. it's like when we compare our childhood and adulthood. more responsibility as we grow up. society is growing up as well.

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  98. I am always big romantic soul :-) and becaouse of that... for you my friend and for yours friends! :))

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=vqsMtMUQOPs#at=899

    It came to me today so I would like to send to you maybe it will make you smile :)

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  99. Oh gosh... absolutely. (I love how thought-provoking your posts are)

    Everything was so magical growing up--and becoming a "real" person and dealing with real life issues is hard. So it's easy to look back and wish we were there. But I think life was just as difficult then (in a different way), as it is now. I'm such a nostalgic person, so I love to reflect on the past and try to relive moments. ;-)

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  100. I don't think I tend to romanticize the past: There were some hard times for me early on. I do go back and cull out the positive, though. There was lots of that, too. I think the ability to see both the gold and dross of the past gives a writer perspective for stories. Meanwhile, outside the personal realm, too, you are so right: the past wasn't so great for large segments of society.

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  101. WE DO! Sometimes I have to say to myself or to someone else 'the truth of the matter is....." right? I remember when I thought there was just no place on earth like 'HOME' where I grew up....it was good, and some of it was not.

    Live in the here and now...best route.

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  102. hehe yeah almost everyday !!
    I guess we do it because we have this innate habit of comparing present from past...
    we always try and relate things from time gone by

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  103. Great observation! I'm guilty of this, not sure why though. Maybe it's better/healthier for our psyche if we put a rose colored shade on things resulting in unconsciously choosing to remember the good stuff (?)

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  104. Nostalgia is such a bittersweet thing. Sure, we can reflect on wonderful times in our lives, or ponder on the lessons we have learned, but like all things, it is important to balance those memories with where we are today. It is easy to compare today with yesterday, when in fact today is beautiful and there is such a full present awaiting us. I try to live in the now, all while recognizing that the now is only possible because of the previous.

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  105. I think as we grow older, we only remember the good and happy times ~ Also as we mature, we learn to value our roots and family history, good and bad stories ~ Have a good week Keith, smiles from BC ~

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  106. In my present euphoric state I am mixing the present with the past in so many ways...romance, nostalgia, hope and awe...and the two are tied together for me today in a way that I cannot believe...and so...yes the past has come full circle to the future in a most abundant and precious way!

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  107. It's either we romanticize the past or the future. We seem to have problems romanticizing the present. And that's sad.

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  108. I often find myself doing this....every day. I am not sure if it is always healthy, but I enjoy wondering about things I cannot ever change. It is fun to ask rhetorical questions to the self! I hope you have been happy and healthy dear friend! :)

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  109. nope- don't romanticize the past and don't romanticize the present because it's a mess. I romanticize the future hoping that we humans will finally realize we are on the same planet and we might just as well get along. Cheers Keith and have a great week!

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  110. Romanticize the past? You betcha. My first book which is a compilation of my newspaper columns, most of which were about the past, was titled Remembering Big.

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  111. it's like when your love life suxs right now and you say, wow it use to be better. because it probably did. and maybe they are talking more about chivalry is dead. but if you open a door for me...i'll erase that last bit.

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  112. Memory is a great chooser and chooses to remember the good over the bad.

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  113. Every romanticizes the past because the easier thing to do. Things were probably just as bad if not worse back then, but we just are more aware of it now.

    People are also lazy, it's easier to look back on perceived better times than it is to actually change things now.

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  114. I tend to do it with regard to modern technology. I was on a bus the other day, and there was a group of schoolchildren - every single one of them was fiddling with their smartphone for the duration of the bus journey (2 1/2 hours). I am only 30, but we didn't have mobile phones or computers when we were teenagers, and I think kids nowadays are wasting so much time glued to their phones/laptops/... It can't be good for them.

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  115. i have no problem admitting that i tend to over-romanticize the past (be it mine or in general). but i also believe that, in some aspects in life, things genuinely used to be better.. more people seemed to have their values and morals in order etc, and life seemed a little simpler. x

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  116. I always do this and it's posts like these that make me think about the past and then you see both the negative and positive moments come flooding back, but I think I hang onto the good and let go of the bad anyway so that might be why too. Really nice post today Keith! And I was probably listening to Your Hand In Mine by Explosions In The Sky, it's my favourite song at the moment, definitely check it out! - Tasah xxx

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  117. Perhaps it is our inherent optimism...that we subconsciously believe that things were once much better than today, so they could be again.
    On the other hand, it could signify a deep longing to escape the bustle of today and return to a simpler time...maybe childhood, when our needs were easily met.
    In my case, I think it is probably a little of both!

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  118. i think i do, i find myself thinking of the past more and more these days----lots of it probably aren't as we remember, but to think it was, must mean there was something good about it :)

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  119. Most definitely. I think its nostalgia, in that life has moved on, you getting older and your perception of time changes. Things seem faster, changing at rapid rates. Also, the perception that life was simpler, but why can't it be now. I used to look back on the past, and I still do so, just with a fondness, but I try to be ever present enjoying today, because it is the best day!

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  120. I think it's easier to deal with the present if we can hold onto something better.

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  121. I will now quote The Office by saying "I wish there was a way to know you're in the good old days before you've actually left them"

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  122. It seems I remember reading once that we remember the good things as some sort of a survival technique.

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  123. I find that I romanticize the past all the time, and then I put those expectations on my present life and I realize that it isn't fair of me to do that, to me or any of my loved ones. I have purposefully made a point this year to try and enjoy the present moment without putting the past (or future) in it. It is really difficult to do though!

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  124. LOL. Sometimes I actually LIVE in the past. ;) --I'm not naive or forgetful or anything. In fact, I tend to remember most the bad right along with the good, but it's much less painful to see it in hindsight than while facing the life uncertainty of day to day.

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  125. There are lots of historical and psychological studies about this. We are constantly changing and so we need to redefine all the time our identities. The past is highly legitimizing because the it provides base and background to the new aspirations. Romanticize the past is an important part of that process.

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  126. life is life....good and bad stuff. I think what I remember the most is not being bombarded with all the bad that is going on everyday and we where able to live a more subdued simple day...with a sense of safety.

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  127. Maybe looking back reminds us of life at a slower pace. Of simpler times, less frantic ness, more face to face conversation. If I romanticize about the past, I picture no automobiles, just horses. I'm going way, way back. ;)

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  128. to learn from it? and not to do those bad things again..

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  129. Maybe it's healthy to focus on the positive aspects of the past since we can't change it. Putting a 'romantic' spin on it gives you your own little story, gives you the power to change the story by omission. Not really a lie, but not the whole truth. Putting on the rose colored glasses to focus on the positive.

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  130. I miss the happy moments of past but do not want to recall the bad times :)

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  131. Times were simplier )is that even a word) so I think its easier to romanticize the past. And time does heal many hurts.

    The future is so uncertain, its difficult to romanticize that except for in fiction.

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  132. Perhaps we can't accept change easily, that could be a reason of thinking about the past and its glories always !!!

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  133. Thank you for the lovely comment, I should think about doing something like that! A photo book would be cool. Glad you liked the photos :) - Tasha xxx

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  134. Such a beautiful picture :)!
    In my opinion we romanticize about the past,because we are somehow scared of passing of the time.Holding to it and make it more beautiful than it probably was,makes us feel like we have the power to stop the time.

    Many greetings :o)...

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  135. yes, I think there is a tendancy to romanticise the past and remember the best of it. I live near to the area I grew up, so I do tend to think about how it has changed for the worse in my time. But although I love history, I wouldn't want to live in an earlier age at all.

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  136. Oh, yes. The past has a nice soft lens through which to view.

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  137. I definitely find myself doing this. I think there's something about not wanting to remember bad things. Maybe we do it to cope better? But it affects our memory of the way things were and makes us believe things were better than they were.

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  138. Everygeneration makes thesame statements,althoughI do thin that technology is a new twist....

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  139. I think we do this to cope. Sometimes, the truth of the past is too painful to remember the things as they really were. I love in Great Expectations (the movie, at least; I can't speak to the book since I haven't read it), I love that the protagonist (Finn, in the movie) states that he will not tell the story as it happened, but the way he remembers it. This is such an honest way to begin, and I appreciate that. I often look back on my adolescence, which now doesn't seem as terrible in hindsight as I know that it actually was because I have separated myself from it in order to move on. Would I go back to it? Absolutely not. Are there things I miss? Certainly. But that doesn't mean it's worth going back to relive.

    What in your past do you romanticize, Keith? And in light of your post, what's the truth of the past that you romanticize?

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  140. Aún creo en el románticismo me gusta pensart en Romeo y Julieta de hecho me voy pronto de vacaciones a la playa para reflexionar y seguir leyendo tus esritos,gusto de conocerte saludos desde Chile,hugs,hugs..

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