Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The Good Ole' Days?


The "good ole days". We have all heard that phrase thousands of times in our lives. People will often hearken back to the good old days, when everything was peachy keen and when all was right in the world.

When the world is filled with as much chaos as it's filled with today, it's easy to get caught up in the mindset that everything used to be better. But when we really think about 50 years ago, who were they the good ole days for? They certainly weren't the good ole days for certain people in our society.
I often hear the claim that people were more morally upstanding in the good ole days. I strongly disagree with that. There have been immoral people since the beginning of time, it's just that 50 years ago we didn't have 1000 different forms of media to expose it all. 

Sure, things may have been simpler 50 years ago, but simpler does not mean better. The two words are not even remotely synonymous

50 years ago, the National Guard had to be called in to several states in the south just so that African-Americans could vote without being harassed. The National Guard had to be called in to make sure little black kids could go to school. 

Do those really sound like good ole days?

Perhaps this is the natural human condition of romanticizing the past. Whenever we look back at the past, it seems like we always think about the good and conveniently forget the not so good.


Do you have any thoughts that you wish to share on this? What do you think when you hear people talk about the good ole days and the way things used to be?

154 comments:

  1. I think the good ole days are whenever I am now. I don't want to look back and think life was better then. I want it better now. It's all in the attitude.

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  2. Hey Keith,

    Don't believe there is such a thing as the good ole days. It's all about perspective. All I know is that we in the now must remain determined to make the now and the future a better place for all that live on this beleaguered planet.

    Be well, good sir.

    Gary

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  3. In the 1950s,

    women were frowned upon for getting a job

    schools got away with forcing children to read the bible

    Thought of nuclear war scared everyone and for good reason

    being gay was literally a crime

    children of abusive parents had no rights or hope

    The Korean War took many American lives

    those were the good ol' days?


    Many (especially conservative) people think those were "moral" days but I don't think so. Especially when it comes to pre-martial relations and adultery, that happened all the time back then. People are just a little more honest about it in the 21st century.

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    1. Looking back in time nostalgically is not something limited to liberals or conservatives, no need to politicize everything. And actually there was way less pre-marital relations and adultery "in the day" then there is now...probably not a healthy thing in my (generally) conservative opinion.

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    2. I honestly don't believe that.

      My grandmother didn't know who her father was. She was raised by her grandmother instead. A school friend of hers got pregnant in high school, and they sent her on "vacation" and she came back childless like nothing happened.

      My father cheated on my mother, my mother cheated on my father. My maternal grandparents same story. My uncle has two kids my cousin has no idea about.

      My fiancee's family is very socially-conservative on that aspect as they came from Laos in 1970s. The older members of her family like to preach, but even my soon-to-be mother-in-law's own father had an affair as an old man to some twenty something.

      Worked with a guy who always says how much of a godly man he is. He's never been married, and has two children.

      Many former presidents have been cheaters, some like JFK and Clinton did it in office, while others did it long before they reached the White House.

      The Southern United States (where I have been born and raised) is considered the "Bible-Belt" where everyone is suppose to be "moral". We are always on the top of the list on teen pregnancy. Same thing with catholic-majority Central and South American countries. The Popes might say one thing, but the unmarried birth rate says another.

      I hope I don't sound too cynical but I personally dealt with too many hypocrites from the "good old days". I've seen too many people claim to be high and mighty and be far from it.

      That kind of stuff happens all the time, and happened a lot in the 50s, and not just the 1950s, 1850s, 1750s, etc.

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    3. I agree with you, but I also agree with joeh. There is much more politicizing of things nowadays. "Especially conservative"-that's a highly charged statement and really not fair. But, the "good old days" in my mind is a time seen through rose-colored glasses. Meaning: you have a very valid point. The "conservative" comment is unnecessary and doesn't help bring people together, though.

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  4. Simpler days, in some ways better if innocence is better, mostly the good old days were just different, maybe in some ways better,but as you mention not so good if you were different, black, gay, Jewish, sometimes not so good. And this is without even mentioning polio, measles, mumps, rubella, poor screening for many cancers, stupid wars (well we still have them,) the draft, crappy TV...yeah, the good old days are only good because we only remember the good in the good old days.

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  5. 50 years ago, eh? I do recall things being in better focus back then, and the sounds were clearer, louder. Is it me or has the world got fuzzier-looking and taken to mumbling? Doesn't matter, I guess. Just glad it happened; feel calmer this way.

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  6. I like to visit the past but I'd never live there. I wrote about it all here: The Good Old Days. I prefer moving forward and (hopefully) evolving.

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  7. This is going to sound crazy of me. I'm all for women's lib. I work, I like the fact that I can work, and have a family at the same time. What I dislike is the fact that a family can hardly make a go of it with only 1 parent working.

    I know because my husband lost his job. What many families had 50 years ago was a mom at home. I wouldn't care if that was a dad at home instead of a mom. I just think things were better because one parent was around to teach values, respect, manners, and were there to discipline. A parent was there to ask, "How was your day?" That simple question is important. Home cooked meals are important.

    With 2 parents working, older kids come home to an empty house, younger kids spend way more time at school because parents are working, and can't pick them up until after 5.

    Single parents, or 1 parent working in a house can't afford a whole lot. So they get food stamps, and eat like crap.

    Yes the 50s had the lack of equality. BUT they had a parent home. Today that's not the case. I'd be happy to have my husband at home all the time, while I worked if I didn't fear we'd go broke.

    Respect, manners, and all those things are or aren't instilled in children when they are young.

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  8. Great topic. I've always loved progress, sorta, just not when greedy industrialists take over pristine land and waterways etc etc. And you're right, I too question the morality of past days. This is where all those abuses took place in the churches, schools, 'care' homes and so forth, cases just being heard in our courts or behind closed doors today. If those kids had had mobile phones and facebook accounts, perhaps this widespread abuse wouldn't have happened, but that's another tangent. We need to inhabit the world we live in and try to make it better in any way we can. :-)

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  9. Keith, I was a junior in high school when the National Guard was called in to patrol the halls and the campus to be sure the African American students - 12 of them - were able to attend school safely. No, things were not necessarily better in what we call the "good ole days!" I lived in a house with no indoor running water, and couldn't wait to get away from that! I think each generation has had challenges that made life less than might have been desired. Good post, Keith. You always make us think!

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  10. Briefly, what I do think was better back then was the 'community' and neighbourhoods. But then if you did not fit, local communities could be very harsh. I am reminded of the song, Harper Valley PTA.

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  11. I believe it is a trade off. In the old days, there were no school shootings, radical gangs, or widespread drug problems. Now there are crack houses on every block and metal detectors in schools. But also we had almost no technology, yet things were simple and people were happy.

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  12. I'm a woman so I think the present is the best time for me. While I often romanticize the simpler times, I also think there was a lot more racism, sexism, anti-semitism, homophobia, etc. We have our issues today FOR SURE but I still think we're better off.

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  13. I think there are good and bad things about both the good old days and the present. For the most part, I think we are better off today, but there are some things I miss about the past.

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  14. I agree with you Keith... I think all people talk about the good old days... yes there were simpler times, I don't always think that was better either... I do think we communicated more face to face than we do now but I like that we can readily be connected to any of our family or friends...

    I also agree with you about parts of the past that are not good at all.. I know people are still dealing with things for being themselves but I also think most people are learning that it is okay to stand out and be unique...

    Really good post Keith and a great reminder xox

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  15. I was just talking about this with a blog friend, and I mentioned the "good ole' days" when they had the old telephones and when we could call a business and someone would answer the phone and connect you with the department you wanted instead of waiting for 20 minutes and being transferred four different times. It seems that many things were simpler back then, but for the people in that era, maybe things were not that simple. I think families sat together at a certain time and ate dinner together, which was nice. However, I think one can find more information about health and other topics on the computer these days.

    Keith, have you ever watched 'The Wonder Years?' I think if you saw an episode, you might say to yourself, ok, now I know why they call it the "good ole' days."

    This is a great post today. :~)

    ~Sheri

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  16. i very much agree with you. it was a good time for maybe middle-class white families. not so good for many others.

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  17. "Mellow with age" might be more appropriate. Things that remind us of our younger days always make us smile. I think most of us remember the good and filter out the bad... Hence "the good old days"! Your photo made me smile.

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  18. I'll take today, thank you! Although I'd take 3 billion people on the planet now rather than over seven! I think people get nostalgic and remember how they felt when the world was fresh and young for them. I remember some things fondly, but there was plenty then that's behind me, and I'm grateful for that! Have a good one!

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  19. I didn't grow up in the States so I can't really comment what it was like here. My husband grew up watching Leave It To Beaver. I guess that is the kind of lifestyle that people would like to have now, TV's version of the good old days. We have more knowledge thanks to the internet more than we have ever had, way too much maybe. I am not sticking my head in the sand. I just wish that there were some things not so easily accessible but Pandora is out of her box and has been for a long time now.

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  20. I'm glad I live in the present. I'm sure certain things were better back in the good ol' days (even in the 90s when I was growing up), but there are certainly also some things that are a lot better now!

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  21. I am glad to live in the present, as Bethany said.

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  22. I think sometimes we look into the past with rose colored glasses on. Every day we are blessed to live should be a good ole day in my opinion :)

    betty

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  23. I don't think it was better 50 years ago. We haven't learned from the past. We keep on reinventing the wheel and think we've done something really great. We're not half as smart as we think we are.

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  24. People like to romanticize the past. It reminds me of a quote from "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence" -when you find the truth behind the legend...print the legend. It is not an exact quote but something like this. I was a mere baby 50 yrs ago. People were thinner then, they didn't eat all the crap because it just wasn't around as much. people had to walk more and kids played outside-hockey and jumping rope. We only had a few TV Channels and if we didn't have the money, we couldn't buy it. On a larger scale, The Vietnam war was in full swing, African Americans were struggling to be heard and given equal rights (which they are still striving for). They were still finding Nazi's who had escaped to South America. JFK was already dead and the cold war was in full swing. Hell I remember the emergency broadcasting network periodically coming on informing us this was just a test. I never thought much about it but it was there in case of a nuclear war. In my mom's day-she survived WW2 and all the horrors of that but fondly recalled the radio and walking to school. My dad was born in 1913 and loved going to the flickers (silent films) but he lived through the flu epidemic of 1918, and saw the rise of the mafia in the States (God I wish he was still alive now so I could talk with him). He also lived through the great depression and knew, like my mom, what starvation was all about. People often say marriage was considered more sacred back then and I think, to some degree this was true but it was also true that one simply did not get divorced. The women stayed married to the abusive husbands and the men kept quiet if they married a shrew. I know my grandparents were not "happily" married but that is "the bed they made". Do I think there are issues now...of course but every generation had their issues. Think of Elvis the Pelvis and the horrible Beatles with their haircuts. If people think others never talks or had sex then they never read about the Marquis De Sade and he was certainly way before our times

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  25. Typically when I think about the good old days, I think of simpler times. Change is difficult and people like to think back to the ways it used to be, you know, back in the day! There are a lot of things in our past in the US that if we don't learn from it...

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  26. Keith, when people refer to "the good old days," it's more about a feeling, mood, culture than historical fact. Life was simpler and less fast paced before the age of the Internet. People actually talked to each other face to face and didn't look at their phones every 5 minutes. There was more childhood innocence and interactive play. Families sat down to have dinner together. Friends went out bowling or did something fun in person. Nowadays it's all about social media which can be fake and impersonal at times. So there is a certain charm about "the good old days" that's been lost in modern times.

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  27. Personally, I love to hear elderly people talk about the good old days. Besides, who are we to judge as to whether those days were good or not? If it was good for them, then great, and why not enjoy listening to their memories? :)

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  28. I like the "good old days" memories but there are people here who would not have survived even 40 years ago because the treatments weren't developed yet. My husband had a heart attack and was given a bypass that didn't even exist 10 years earlier. Our children would have had no Dad and I would have been a widow. You gain some and you lose some. I worry about the joblessness we have now but how much worse was it the 30's?

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  29. I guress we take the good and the bad, and some people try to remember the "good" while others remember the bad depending on their social, economic or political status.

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  30. It invariably would refer to life that was less complicated with less gadgets to make life simpler. Good old days was when we did not have much to bother about.Bad was more event related and not prompted by the desire to kill each other.

    Hank

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  31. Right now we are living someones 'good ole days.' : )

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  32. I agree with the Happyone's comment.
    Every day is a "good ole day" when you have a bed to wake up in.
    Cheri

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  33. You're so right. It certainly wasn't the good ole days for many of the older people I know who had their homes, possessions and livelihood taken from them and were placed in hot, dusty Internment camps just because they were of Japanese ancestry. It certainly wasn't the good ole days for African Americans who had to fight for their civil liberties. However, I guess with every generation we look back, forget the bad and try to remember only the good times.

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  34. The good old days were very, very hard work for rather a lot of people. And injustice was rife.
    I suspect the concept of 'community' was stronger, but on balance, I am grateful for the here and now. There are things I don't like, but it is my responsibility to make changes. Or to agitate for them anyway...

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  35. Good post! Life may have seemed simpler way back when, but probably because in earlier times, many wrongs weren't being reported, and many of us were young enough to be oblivious to wrongs that were being reported.

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  36. Every yesterday was good every tomorrow hopeful. I think just a cliche

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  37. Interesting question, which I think even Shakespeare asked. Your commentators say it all. There was plenty that we would consider wrong in the past, plenty of hypocrisy; we are (generally in the west) better fed and wealthier now. Equally, there is still great evil in the world, people die too soon and in many ways we live in much less certain times. But everything is relative and you never miss what you've never had - so judging the past with modern eyes can be tricky territory. You could ask, "Are we happier?" - I don't the answer to that; nostalgia's not what it used to be..!

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  38. There are some things I miss about the "good ole days" - even knowing that they never existed. But playing out in the middle of the street with all the neighborhood kids; running after the ice-cream truck to buy a big stick for .25; and watching Wonderama, the Electric Company and Josie and the Pussy Cats -- good times. Good times.

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    1. Were you a "Sonny Fox" Wonderama kid or a Bob McAllister Wonderama kid?

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  39. To me the gold ole days are one's where a family goes out to lunch and they actually talk to one another instead of all of them having cell phones where they are texting. Gary went into a restaurant the other day and a family of four each were texting while eating, down to a child of about four years old. To me there is something wrong with that picture. I also think those days were safer when children could play in their yards or in the neighborhood without fear of being abducted. I think there is more opportunity for crime nowadays than the past. As someone above said though we are living the good ole days for someone in the future, I believe that is true.

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  40. The sixties were the start of drugs, foul language, and promiscuity in my opinion. They weren't as prevalent during the fifties.

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  41. Thinking people are the best of the sixties, but everything is getting better now, don't knock it out!

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  42. I prefer not burying my head in the sand... there are problems now, but things have improved over the last 50 years in so many areas, that there simply is no comparison.

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  43. Hello Keith,

    Nostalgia for the past usually does, in the eyes of most people, cast a golden glow over everything. And yet, there are so many reasons to be grateful for living in the age that we do. Medical advances must be amongst the best of reasons for this.

    However, we find living in Hungary that fewer people make for a better quality of life in so many ways. England is now so crowded compared with fifty years ago that this has brought all manner of difficulties which were not a problem in our childhood. We do seriously wonder if it is purely a question of controlling world population that is the secret for continually improving standards for all.

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  44. I think it's natural for people to get sucked into nostalgia and being rather selective with their memories! Maybe it's a bit of a safety mechanism, trying to remember a time that was perfect and believing that things can be that way again in the future.

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  45. Hello Keith, great question and post.. And I always enjoy reading all the comments.. I am happy living in the moment.. There are things I loved from the ole days. I loved the music from the 60's & 70's. As kids we played outside and with all the neighborhood kids..Families spent more time together. As a child growing up in the 50's I saw some good things AND some bad things.. like War, Prejudice and hatred. Seems like war, prejudice and hatred is still running rampant now..

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  46. If everything was so great in the good old days, then why do we have support groups for adult survivors of sexual abuse? Why do we have support groups for the children of alcoholics? Why do we need AA and 12 Step Programs at all since everyone was so well raised by a mom in a dress and high heels? I do remember being able to wander around our neighborhood without any fear. That was nice.

    Love,
    Janie

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  47. I agree. We just thought it was good ole days. I grew up in south Texas with no air conditioning, no hot water in the house and I could go on and on. I'm spoiled now and I wouldn't want to go back.

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  48. They were "only" better because they weren't so exposed. And in a society so tired of reading, listening and watching to the (un)human misery it might sound a relieve those ole days when you didn't had to face this in minutiae and constantly. And - sometimes, it seems - in crescendo. For emotional cowards like me it's tempting to think that not knowing some things would be peaceful and a blessing. Curiously I don't. I prefer knowing what to expect and not getting it and feel blessed.
    Some things were really better. The pace for example. You are meant to rush rush rush nowadays. Always connected.
    But in that case you're letting the world do the honors of ruling your life. And we shouldn't.
    I loved when my children were babies, and then toddlers. I miss having babies but then I look to my young man and young lady, creating their lives, living and creating worlds of value and I'm so happy they're not babies anymore. They are turning into amazing human beings. With flaws certainly. But I wouldn't trade my daughter's pout for a 2 year old tantrum on the mall ahahahah. Now my son can over sleep and I don't have to worry if he's sick or something... ole days were just fine but The Best has yet to come. (the other day my daughter - probably because I tell them that I think this way - gifted me an hilarious sign that said something along these lines: "I want my children to have all I didn't have. So I can move and live with them" ahahahahahah
    And thanks to the times we're living we still have old days with us; in the movies, in the tapes, everywhere within a click reach. We're living the Best of Times!!! you just need some phones and you can listen to "Perfect Day" (any version of it) while working!!!
    Seize the day, Keith!

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  49. This is very thought provoking, as always, Keith! Let's face it, mankind has not learned much over the course of time...... Things are most definitely getting worse as far as crime, war, poverty,women's rights and minority discrimination (in the world), pollution and the degradation of our planet. Yes we have made some strides in science, medicine and technologies, but the ethics that should go along with that are sorely lacking. Corporations are ruling the planet and exploiting everyone, our planet and our survival, and we just accept this as the price of commerce. I can't see how this has made our lives better as a whole. Discrimination is rampant in the world - think of how women and children are treated in the vast majority of third world countries, never mind minorities who are systematically wiped out in genocide. So, if we long for the 'good ole days' maybe it is because we need something to cling to that was once a comforting and good place in our memory, if not in actuality. Just the increase in crime alone is a scary statistic. We can't let our children play outdoors without fear of some predator kidnapping them, women live in fear of being assaulted and our homes and cars are robbed and the police can't keep up. Homeless people sleep on the streets of all of our cities, and life is getting so expensive that people are unable to afford to live. So, this may be a cynical view, but I am sure that this world is not a better place at all. We have just become more adept at tunnel vision.

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  50. I totally agree, Keith. The only real difference between the "good ole' days" and today is the level of media coverage. 50 years ago, we would have no idea that an atrocity had been committed half-way across the world, whereas today we are aware of it in an instant.
    And, yes, I do believe it is a human trait to imagine things were much better "back then"...in the past, when there is the tendency to remember only the good times...

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  51. Well, for me, 50 years ago was the good ole days because I really didn't have a worry in the world. My parents got to do all that worrying! But I hear what you say and agree that the good ole days really weren't good for a lot of people especially in America. Things still aren't perfect, but they have improved some...

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  52. I believe you are right ... the days were just as bad back "then" as they are today, we just didn't have the internet back then to blow it all up! Ryan White in the 80's was the "Boy with AIDS" ... and if social media is what it is NOW, I wonder if it would have been better for him now ... the mafia has been around FOREVER and I wonder if the "good ole boys" from those families would survive and hide as well as they did back then with big brother watching out as they do now with today's technology ... so it's always been there, just now Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr tell us faster and get opinions molded in a blink of an eye....

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  53. I think the idea of the "good ole days" is just the product of humans with very short life spans. Even me sitting here (young at age 32) can think back in my life to the "good ole days". Everybody can. It's just people reminiscing and not wanting to let go of the past. Who can blame them? For as much bad stuff that has happened, a lot of really good things have happened to people in the past that gives them warm memories. But I totally agree with you, there have been bad people doing heinous things since the origin of our species. There always will be. And almost everyone on the planet will someday say, at some point in their lives, "Back in the good ole days...".

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  54. I'm guilty of saying that I wish we could go back to the 40s and 50s. After hearing my grandmother talk about those days, I like the simplicity of it. At least where we live, it was safe. But, you're right. Evil has existed since the beginning of time and I know there was evil back then... we just didn't have all the news sources and internet covering it all. After some experiences I had, I wish things were safer... but I don't think anything was 100% safe, even back in the "good ole days"!

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  55. Chronologically speaking, I do have a lot of "good ole days." :-) Keith, for me, at least, there are no easy answers to the questions in this post. I do believe the internet has had a major impact on societies all over the world. Discrimination and injustice is uncovered and the hard changes to correct that are being forced more rapidly. On the other hand, sometimes I think fondly of the days before computers ... there was just so much less pressure to get things done quickly... Back when spam was only a meat product. :-) Overall, but with some serious exceptions, I do think we are moving in the right direction to advance civilization. I still love my old postcards though. :-) Thanks for more great questions.

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  56. In terms of your post I say here here! It's complicated as an African American. Sure, I don't want to go back to Jim Crow laws, lynchings or segregation. At the same time, during the older times when we had no choice apart from relying on self-determination, our neighborhoods thrived, we had a much higher rate of business and home ownership and a higher rate of children born and raised by wedded parents. I was born right in the fine line time, when segregation was ending but not ended, and the Civil Rights Movement was very active. I champion all our developments, technological, medical, legal and otherwise but realize that with all our advances we have lost some things so I go back and forth on this issue.

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  57. There are definitely no good old days, I mean, there were always bad things. They might have been different but that does not make it any better. I often hear really old people talking about the good old days and maybe it's because back then they felt more comfortable to handle the difficulties they had and now not so much. I don't know if that makes any sense. :)

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  58. I was 16 50 years ago. There were race riots, The Viet Nam war, the women's rights movement. Lots of revolution for change. We are better now, but still have problems to solve. I don't believe there's any such thing as the good ole days. My parents generation had the Depression, World War II.

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  59. In my mind there are no good old days - just different days. Times have always been tough for poorer people - whilst the rich have always been cushioned - for some aristocratic people in England they probably don't even notice the difference. In the innocence of childhood, days are full of sunshine and happiness - but in days gone by empty stomachs and shoeless feet were the norm. Let us be grateful for all we have now.

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  60. Your post reminds me of the quote, "I wish there was a way to know you're in the good old days before you've actually left them.” ― Andy Bernard.
    I also feel there are different times, not better or worse- just different.
    I prefer to be present now than romanticize the past.
    Hugs to you Keith!

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  61. No such thing is the good ole days as they may be good for one but not good for others. The only thing that holds true no matter the time period is mankind is no more civilized than it was when time began. We've just gotten better at faking it.

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  62. Everything seems better when you look back on them - but you're right of course. We've come so far when it comes to equal rights, for example.

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  63. No, there were never any good ole days. The only people who refer to them are the people who believe THEIR lives were (or would have been) better during a time in history when THEY had an advantage over others.

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  64. I'm living the good ole days now. Retired, comfortable, and hubby and I are living our dreams.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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  65. No such thing. But the past does seem happier at times

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  66. Your posts are always thought-provoking and interesting Keith. I definitely agree, things always seem better in hindsight but actually the reality is far more darker than I think I often imagine. I am definitely guilty of romanticising the past but as you said with the onset of media and the different ways in which we report news, it would have been very different say 50 years ago. Great post, Keith! - Tasha

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  67. "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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  68. I cannot agree with you more. "The good ol' days" sucked.

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  69. i think that over time our memories lose their edges...
    and having survived the past, no matter how vicious...or good...
    it seems better than our present circumstances...we remember the good
    let go the bad...which is hard to do when we are in the mix...

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  70. Good ole days must be viewed through a vaseline lense. Good stuff and bad stuff. The big difference is the quick access to news and world events.

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  71. Never thought of it that way, Optimist. But you bring up great points. Maybe everything wasn't so hunky-dory after all.

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  72. i think it's normal for us to miss the past every now and then but i wouldn't necessarily call them better days...in my opinion it's best to live in the moment and look forward to the future :)

    xx danielle // shades of danielle

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  73. When I talk about the good ole days, I'm reminiscing about my best childhood memories and my childhood home where I grew up.

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  74. You make some fine observations, Keith. I remember some of those racial incidents and the riots related to the war -- they may have been 40-50 years ago, but the memories are strong. And before that, more unrest. Lots of people love being hooked up to their headphones and it's convenient and good company when you're out walking. Or is it? Many moons ago on college campuses, strangers who passed en route to class said hello to each other or at least acknowledged with a nod or smile. Now everyone is looking at the phone or listening to something. A greeting comes as a shock. Good? It's nice to know we're connected. Bad? Connected to what? A machine or each other. You could say the same about flying which used to be a little more complicated -- but more luxurious, even in the "cheap seats." I think some things have taken a turn for the worse, and yet some of those same things are what can bring us information or news of family, friends or the world more quickly. It will always be a mixed bag, I think. I'm glad there are medical advances. But I sure miss house calls!

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  75. The good old days? There were certainly some wonderful things about the days of my youth, but there were some wretched things, too. Nostalgia makes us want to overlook the bad things, but the truth is, good things and bad things co-exist during all times of history.

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  76. I hear the older generation say that they never had to keep their doors and windows locked or that kids could play outside and not fear they were going to get kidnapped but that's just not true. Bad things happened we just didn't hear about all of them because there was no internet back then.

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  77. Many things have changed for the worse, many have changed for the better.

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  78. When I remember the 'good old days' it's from when I was a kid....being a kid I wasn't aware of the things that made the 'good old days' bad old days. I think we all pick and choose what we want to remember.

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  79. Ooh good one! I think some things WERE better, like more community spirit, less widespread greed and rampant consumerism, less obesity, but it was also hard. I remember a life before central heating and TV, and we weren't really poor or anything. My mum as a kid had to beg for food and money to feed her family. In some places children still do, that's heartbreaking. Also, I am so glad that I live in a part of the world where women are treated the way they are. I read a report about India yesterday which was quite chilling. I am very guilty of nostalgia, but it is totally selective, I know.

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  80. I do think there was more of a sense of community back then. Kids weren't as disrespectful as what they are now. I do feel that our generation of children don't value hard work and education as much as earlier generations. However, I do think that not everything was coming up roses then either. I do like our modern technology and how it keeps us connected. However, on the same hand, I think it removes the "personal" connections as well. I'm kind of torn here.

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  81. I do miss some things from the past, yet I embraced some changes whole heartedly and wouldn't think of going back. Great post.

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  82. I hope my children look back at this time and think of it as the good old days... But also that they make every precious moment they have a great day too. I hope your newlywed days are creating a wonderful, golden time to look back on and building a marriage that just gets better and better : )

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  83. Well, this topic certainly has spurred a lot of discussion. I think each period has its plusses and its minuses. I don't think of say 50 years ago as either being the good old days or the 'bad' old days. There were some good things....such as children played outside more, weren't slaves to the television and video, and stores were clothes on Sundays which allowed families time to do simple things like take Sunday drives and picnic! But I also agree with those who said people were not more morally upstanding then than now. Probably things were kept more hush hush, but they still went on. All were not equal back then. Women, people of color, gays.....all discriminated against. Places were not handicapped accessible either. Life was harder for the one who cooked, as there was no microwave...so everything had to be cooked on the stove or in the oven, which was MUCH more work. Anyway, I don't say either time was perfect. Today's world certainly is not so. But without being apart of today's world, we would not be communicating here today via the internet. Nothing is black and white.

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  84. Your posts are always so thought-provoking. Sometimes I want to go back in time for certain reasons that are good. And sometimes I have a lot of not-so-good memories like when there was never enough food for my 10 siblings and I..... It's fair to say that no matter how my past was, I am enriched by it. I still "kind-of" think of those days as the good ole days. Mostly I think this because I see children spending less time outdoors when I was barely indoors. A lack of time and connection with nature seems lost these days and time outdoors is but a quick run from house to car. One may be outside playing sports but still not in tune to their surroundings on a level that they learn to respect it and protect when they need to. I see FAR more littering today than when I was young; maybe that has to do with population growth and other factors. And speaking of the Good ol' days, if ever you want to go back in time, like the 50's, you might consider staying at this nostalgic guesthouse in Pa: http://www.nostalgicguesthouse.com/

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  85. In the good old days... right, we have this expression, too... for the times of yesteryear when everything it had seems to be somehow different, "simpler" but, right, not necessary "better"!!
    While we're in process of aging or to become older I think at some level we tend to make comparisons between the present days and past old days, forgetting somehow about those details and aspects that can change the whole picture...
    Actually it can be said that we are experiencing with a nostalgia feeling... for the old times!!
    "The way things used to be"... wow, I sometimes wonder what we do with all these: new technology, high-tech, lots of info, hard to keep in mind, lots of new things..
    See... that's way... the people tend to say: "in the good old days"... "I lived like that"... "I had this chance"... "I used to go, to travel, to read this or that"!!! Now is all about new media, social media, internet, e-books... Back then was more sense of community...
    What can I say? Maybe is all about perspectives, indeed! Your subject is good and complex, but very difficult to me that I'm not such a good english native speaker!
    A good day and a Happy March, as well!

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  86. Sadly these might be the good old days for a more chaotic future. I keep hoping that we are evolving to become better. You are right, with all the media, we are made aware of all the grubbiness and meanness in every corner of the earth. I do believe there are more of us than them and think if the good, kind and decent just got more press, it would become the goal of our young but they just keep seeing the disgusting ones get all the attention.

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  87. I pretty much agree with all you've said. Kids were a lot more active in them good 'ole days, especially at Xmas. As much as my parents' youths sounded magical at times, I was happy to be born when I was.

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  88. We stress about everything, mostly inconsequential stuff eg will the boy next door like me? Am I wearing the right clothes for this job interview? Will I lose weight this week? Oh noes another pimple! But once something we stressed about is over, suddenly it gets filed into the good ole days folder. Not only that, but it gets shinier the further the stress trickles from our memories.

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  89. Even if you point that stuff out, people will go "I mean besides that!" Then you can point out a million other problems and they'll keep insisting it was much better. Maybe because the those old problem are the one they've been indoctrinated to. It's all this new, unfamiliar stuff that's really evil.

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  90. I had a similar discussion recently. When looking back, we tend to only see the good things, but as you pointed out, it hasn't always been a picnic.
    Good post.

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  91. You make a very valid point here. I remember a book by the title of "The Good Old Days" that pointed out that there was no air conditioning in the hot summer and before cars there were horses. Thus, you had to smell all that horse manure all day and night. If it rained, it was just gross sludge to walk through. No thank you!

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  92. We tend to forget the bad and remember the good. Human nature. I think it best not to compare and I am glad this was not another post about how good the good old days were.

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  93. Hubby and I love the life we have, so to us, these are the good old days. Each and every day.

    Big hugs, honey...

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  94. I think that The Good Old Days is a paradox.
    Hugs,
    JB

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  95. An interesting perspective Keith ~ I am nostalgic about the good old days but I love the technology and strides we have made today like women rights and equal opportunity for all ~ Each decade and generation have its own strengths so it really depends on what we are searching and looking for ~ Enjoy your weekend ~

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  96. I guess everyone has their version of the good old days. My parents would say it's the 50's where I would say it was the 80's. I guess everyone has their own vision of what the good old days were.

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  97. I think that you are right about the social media part. I think too, that overall, certain forms of "immorality" were more largely frowned upon in the past. There's a greater acceptance of more things these days. But yeah, people are people no matter when they lived. Evil still exists, perhaps in more forms these days with technology and a greater population overall.

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  98. A thought provoking post with some great comments. I think the past holds some special moments and some bad ones. We have the ability to choose which ones we wish to remember. The reality is we live in the here and now and should strive to make the most of our lives and our world. The good old days I guess is about perspective.

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  99. There are good and bad things that happen in ALL generations... Slavery was horrible but it was what it was...When you get age 72, you'll appreciate the 'good ole days' much more... Life was truly different back when I was young --but there were lots of good things: Family life and religion/church were much more important; Men worked hard to support their family; People were taught manners and respect; People were not as greedy; People helped each other; People actually TALKED to each other; People were full of pride, and loved the country; etc. etc. etc. I could go on and on ---but I will admit that when I was your age, I 'laughed' at the "Good Ole Days"... The older I get and the more changes I see make me yearn for those good old days in some ways. I will also say that there are some good/great things which have happened in my lifetime --and that most of the differences I list stem around the break-down of the family and the lack of conversation and understanding of each other. There is so much anger and judgmentalness out there. Makes me sad.....

    Hugs,
    Betsy.

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  100. Hi Keith - at least we didn't worry about voting - by then women had had the vote for 20 years (1928 - 1948) ... and we were recovering from the War - so perhaps there was more cohesion here .. life was really tough, but there were jobs ... menial may be - but there was work ... however it must have been tough as it was a 'get on with it life' ... there was no empathy re troubles, illness etc .. and our attitude was perhaps somewhat different - we'd coped with the war .. it couldn't be worse, and we'd learnt to be resourceful - now ....

    Betsy above puts it well .. cheers Hilary

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  101. My "good old days" would have been mostly in the sixties and 70's since I was born in 1952. There was quite a bit happening then!! Lots of "rebellious youth" my father would say at the time. It was true as young people were looking to make changes, end war, and become one with nature.
    I was more of an on-looker than a doer. But I did find it all interesting and it had some effect on me. Things are always a changing and we always evolve.

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  102. My mom have 85 and we talk about this and she say always was the same thing.Only we dont knew many things!! Im agree. She is a wise person and love to read. Interesting post Keith and love the pic!:)
    xo

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  103. Hi again, Just stopping by to take a look at the comments since I left my first one back in the good ole days (just kidding ... yesterday). One thing I love about your blog ...The variety of comments! On this post, especially, there seems to be a wide range of opinions. It appears that an individual's life experience, or lack thereof, has a substantial effect on their view of the past. And isn't that what would be expected? Thanks again Keith.

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  104. There’s good, as well as bad in the living condition of then and now. So we can’t deny both, but let’s take whatever is good and leave the other. But when it comes to morality and equality this generation enriches.

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  105. The era I would most like to live in is the Victorian... but I'm sensible enough to know that I would have needed to be in the upper classes to enjoy it the way I'd like to. Poor people suffered greatly!

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  106. I call it 'The good 'ol bad 'ol days'!!!
    Haha. I mean, look at that woman vacuuming in heels! Good lord! ;)

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  107. I agree with you Keith, and I think that romanticizing the past is a custom to forget all bad and remember the good only.

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  108. I think times were simpler, and the lack of technology provided a different lifestyle that meant more face-to-face communication and little time in front of a screen. But there were still problems - like the ones you mentioned. I also think the role of women wasn't as wonderful as it might be made out to be. I think times now give women more of a chance to spread their wings and follow their dreams, thus contributing even more to society.

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  109. Ah yes I so agree with you. It's very easy to remember the past to be fonder than it really was. I hope you are doing well Keith :).

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  110. I will say that I think children were safer when I was little. My mother often left me alone in the children's section of a bookstore, library, department store while she went shopping. And when I think of the pornography I've been forced to view because someone sent me a "friend" request that includes a gif . . . I shudder to imagine my granddaughter being exposed to these things before she's had the opportunity to actually engage in sex with someone she cares about. But for women and other disenfranchised groups still striving for equality, things are better albeit not quite equal.

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  111. Stop putting a fork in my "good ol' days" thought processes! ;) Seriously, though, I do agree with your points to one degree or another, even though I'm sure I'll still find myself reminiscing about the rose-colored past.

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  112. i think for a lot of people "the good ol' days" can be just nostalgia at looking at one's childhood, like for example for me the 90s will, to some degree, always be a special time that i'll look at and think "oh, those were the days". and when romanticizing the past, i feel like it is often recognizing that some aspects of life might have been better and then either ignoring or excluding the worse aspects. at least that is what it is for me, i know in most ways life now is better, but i still love the enchantment of previous periods, or the simplicity of some of them:-) and i completely agree about the morality, i love finding out about ancient romans' obscene graffiti and immorality definitely is just easier to highlight nowadays with all the media and you can still find references to people e.g. having affairs/immoral relationships in for example tudor literature which would've been practically their only form of media! x

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  113. We mostly remember the good about the past. Now is the good old days for kids today.

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  114. Interesting topic and certainly spurred on lots of discussion. There were good things in the old days but also bad things and I guess we like to remember the good things. I liked the way children could walk the streets to school or a friends house and not worry about being abducted. I didn't like the male dominated society and what was expected of girls and women. Today I love the modern technology but not the crime and alcohol and drug scene.

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  115. You are absolutely right. We've come a long way.

    http://joycelansky.blogspot.com/

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  116. I think you hit the nail on the head when you said simpler does not = better. I do often yearn for a more simple world, but you are so very right about the social issues of the past. I think people often look back with rosé colored glasses.

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  117. I sometimes look at the old days with a certain bit of nostalgia. But, I know that they weren't necessarily good for everyone or especially good in all things. I remember very vividly the unrest of the 60s (I can't speak to the 50s, because I don't remember those days at all), the economic turmoil of the 70s, the fear of the Soviet Union in the 80s, etc. So, I don't think today is that much different than yesterday, though. We just know about things much more quickly than we did. It does seem that we are more polarized than we used to be. I know that, when my children are my age and are speaking of me in the past tense, they may very well look back at today as part of "the good old days."

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  118. And, wasn't there a song once which had, as one of its lines: "These are the good old days"?
    Carly Simon? Carole King? I can't remember.

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  119. I would prefer if people just recognized and reinforced the good, period.

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  120. There's a lot of bad things going on today but there always have been. I agree it's natural for people to remember the good parts when looking back. I mean, the 50s is seen as the good old days in Britain and we still had rationing and postwar deprivation.

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  121. So true... but it's easier to deal with the safety of your own youth.....

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  122. i think it's a form of nostalgia isn't it? we look back and think everything was better. Our memories focus on the positive. In some ways it may have been simpler. You didn't have email and texts, voicemail, twitter, Facebook. A million people wanting to get in touch with you all the time, we didn't need to be so knowledgeable, getting degrees wasn't a necessity. I feel like society is a bit stretched these days in a way. We expect to cram so much into our days. We expect to have an education, a family, a job, hobbies, friends. We need to know so much more about politics, world news, internet. Feels like a never ending stream of information some days.

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  123. There was a very moving scene in Selma where Oprah's character was registering to vote, and the county clerk deliberately asked her difficult questions about the local government to insure she wouldn't pass. Harry Belefonte recently received an award for his efforts in helping Martin Luther King Jr. I wonder why it took fifty years. I agree with the others, that we remember what we want to, and sometimes the most minute things stay foremost in our memories.

    Julie

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  124. Hello Keith!:) After much thought I really can't think of anything that was better in the so-called good old days. I was born in the 1930's into a privileged family and have wanted for nothing. My life so far has been amazing, and I have done all the things I have wanted to do. I was lucky, for it was not so for many people.You are probably aware that the social and economic differences were monumental between the rich and the poor in my country way back in the good old days. Newspapers were censured then, little crime was reported, and whatever crime was noticed was severly punished. After the Revolution in 1974, things started to change, slowly at first but then far more rapidly than I could have imagined. Now everyone has a car, television, computer, telephone,ect, and in spite of the recent economic crisis, a decent wage. If I asked my children, who had the same kind of life style as I had, what they missed most about the good old days, they would probably say the 70's music, but I live in the moment, not in the past, and as long as my family are happy, I'm happy. Although many things have changed here in Portugal, family values remain the same, and that is worth its weight in gold.No Keith I can't think of anything that was better. I have adapted to a different life style, and it's good, very good.
    Best Regards.

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  125. What an interesting post. I think people remember selectively or they focus on something from the good old days that they like better than something they currently don't like. I think sometimes people look at the past through rose colored glasses that blur out the bad parts (and when we look back there were many). Interesting food for thought!
    ~Jess

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  126. Thanks for sharing this perspective. Every day has good - and bad. Next time I wish for the ways things used to be - I will think of this!

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  127. I miss some of my good ole days but I never live in the past!
    Today is good and my days of old were good also ..
    One thing I am bringing back from the good ole days is writing letters ...

    Have a good day, Keith ...
    Good post !

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  128. Oh I agree. When I say the good old days I mean Im 29 Im talking about 1990's and frankly I love the convenience of our time so I wouldnt even want to venture back to the 90's. I most certainly would hate to live in the world of my grandparents who were born in 1910/1911 (the passed away one at 96 and one at 100). They live long years but it was tough for them. Tougher than I could possibly bear. We look at the good of the past and forget the "tough" of the past.

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  129. Things were definitely simpler (everything now is rush rush rush, do as much as you can) but that doesn't necessarily mean better. I love having information at my finger tips. And I love not getting spit on because my wife is a different race than I am.

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  130. I was nearby as my parents and some of their friends sipped wine and laughed about all these kids who think they have depression and that their lives on social media matter. It was one of the saddest things I'd ever seen.

    I constantly remind myself that anything that's different between now and yesteryear is a change that we deliberately made to make our lives better.

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  131. Well being as I am so old and wise... I agree that things were not necessarily "better" back in the day. I honestly think that people are more open about their ideas now and especially with all of the different media we have to expose those ideas it just seems like we are more "corrupt" or "immoral" now.

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  132. I sometimes feel overwhelmed by technology and think I'm being left behind but I do love the convenience of everything these days...I'm afraid for my grandchildren, though....these days may be better than their days to come...the earth can support just so much demand...

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  133. i think our memories are a bit like scrapbooks, we tend to want to save and highlight the positive bits, and discard the negative. which is a good thing, mostly, but it can lead to that sense of unrealistic nostalgia you describe; especially when we take if out of our PERSONAL memories and want to apply it to the world at large. the interesting thing is that this phenomenon seems to have ALWAYS existed, in almost every society. i recently read a book about venice in which a diarist expressed the feeling that the city was becoming too crowded, there were too many tourists, technology was advancing too quickly and distancing people from each other... and this was all being said c.1750!!! :) :) :)

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  134. I think my "good old day" memories are mostly of good times that I had when growing up. I know my father left the family farm to join the air force- he did not want to have to pick cotton and haul hay the rest of his days..and thus he changed the course of his life. I don't think good old days are meant to be entire decades, but just certain times we remember. I do long for the good old days when we did not have 24 hour tv and weather. I truly miss those days.

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  135. my grandmother and I have this conversation often, she's 85. we believe there was good and bad then and now. my grandmother really misses everyone sitting down for dinner together.
    It makes me sick to think of someone not being welcomed, anywhere, because of their skin color.

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  136. Yes, people romanticize the past. There are always positives and negatives to every time period. I miss running through forests and fields of dandelions as a child, relishing in the summer evenings by the pond, but I am so grateful for those times that made me who I am right now, here in the present moment. The most important thing is too make the best of now and have no regrets.

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  137. One person's good ole days can be someone else's bad years they'd rather forget. I know my grandmother used to talk about the "good ole days" not that she thought they were so wonderful, but she liked to reminisce and tell stories of things she did as a girl. It wasn't always pleasant either, but in her mind it made her happy to go back and revisit and share the memories.

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  138. Everyone loves to romanticize the past. I'm not the exception. I do like the idea of "simpler times", but something tells me there's really no such thing. There's just time and luckily in this the present day, we mostly all have a choice with how we'll spend it.

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  139. The good old days always exist abut 50 years ago, coating from the day the current government came to power!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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  140. I think when we reminisce about the good old days, we'd like to cherry-pick the things we liked about them but leave the bad behind. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could?

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  141. Pretty sure our kids will look back at their youth (which is today) and think they were the 'good ol' days' too. :)

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  142. We for sure have more possibilities to meet more people, to make new friends...but also we take much for granted, we sometimes limited by our internet connection in communication with close ones...

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  143. We for sure have more possibilities to meet more people, to make new friends...but also we take much for granted, we sometimes limited by our internet connection in communication with close ones...

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  144. I could not agree more! The good ole days are a fabrication of our minds. We like to think of the times in an idealized manor, but I think to an extent it is human nature to want to look back on history that way. The times were definitely simpler without all of the media but there was a lot of problems that largely are still happening today.

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  145. It is about the same today as then except we have less freedom today.

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  146. There's good and bad in every decade. I'm guessing it all depends on from where you are standing and what you are looking for. My thoughts on that phrase have certainly changed over the years. When I was a kid, we were running the streets barefoot til the streetlights came on and romping through the woods on weekends. Now, to me, simpler times were before the internet. I'm a bit tired of seeing the tops of everyone's head because they can't for one second look up from their smart phone. I'm really fed up with folks in cars texting, reading, talking on their smart phones while they are driving. The phones might be smart, but so many people have become dumb by using them. My thought is, if you want to talk or read or text on your phone, do it from your couch at home or a corner cafe, don't do it the moment you get in your car. Heck, I can't even change the radio station without feeling distracted.

    I do wish June Cleaver or Harriet Nelson or Donna Reed would come clean my house. It's one of my least favorite things to do. :)

    Best wishes, Tammy

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  147. I agree that we do seem to romanticize the good ole' days. Though, I do think, that there has been a gradual shift in the moral integrity of individuals and that "self interest" seems to play into human interaction (and is often given a bit of a wink-wink nudge-nudge "pass" that never would have been acceptable, several decades ago). Today, if somebody uttered the phrase "my word is my bond" they would, more likely, be met with an uncomfortable awkward titter - than a respectful nod. It's sad but, in my experience, people are less kind than they used to be. Words like dignity and honorable have virtually been discarded as archaic.

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  148. That sentence really makes me sick. My father and my grandparents often use it. I can understand that they may be unhappy because I think many people who say that phrase just don't understand how the 'new time' works. They often don't even get in touch with all the new media and what comes with it. All the choices that you have now that would have never been possible in the old times. It's hard to make a 'good' decision that fits everyones needs. People get easily offended by what you like and what you want or what you do. I think many of those people glorify their time because they had not the luck to choose and had to be happy with what they finally got. They just cannot understand what pressure may come with all those ways you can go nowadays. And even if you try your best .. they still won't understand your motives and get angry because you did not want to take the path they chose for you.

    That's what comes to my mind everytime someone tells me how good the old times have been.
    -Daniela

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  149. I find it ignorant when people moan about current times alluding back to a time when all was good. But even as a young person I find it frustrating that a few aspects of life today are worse than they were in the past. I find it challenging to find many modern songs that have beauty of melody or lyric, and it's harder to feel very alive or connected when everyone around you is fixated on their devices. Personally I don't believe that there's always a positive correlation between time and progress - it's a you win some you lose some situation.

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