To the good old days.
I find it fascinating to hear people talk about the past as if things were always better “back then,” whenever “then” was. Funny enough, “then” can be any time prior to today but seems to actually be different for everyone. For some, it’s the Leave it to Beaver years or the tie-dye shirts and peace signs of the hippie era. For me, it’s the 90s, when the most I had to worry about was how to schedule my chores during the commercial breaks of Saved by the Bell so I could have the dishwasher unloaded before Mom pulled into the driveway at 5:30. Of course life was easier in those days! I was 10.
Even more incredible is how we tend to view societal struggles we face today as entirely unique to us, to our generation, as if there has never been another time in history where people have experienced or had to overcome similar circumstances. We like to scream about how this person or that group has caused the system to fall apart, that politicians can’t be trusted these days. Bankers are all of a sudden greedy and taking advantage of Main Street. Our schools are falling apart and aren’t preparing our kids for the jobs of the future.
But is that really the case? Are our issues new and unique to us?
Flipping this finger-pointing and blame game approach on its head, could it be that the issues we grumble about today are, in fact, things that humans have struggled with for years?
Take a look at the passage below. It highlights lacking leadership and a need for change in politics, banking, industry, religion, education, and journalism. This could have easily been written today but when were these words originally published?
The answer? Nearly 80 years ago in 1938.
Coming across pages like these leaves me feeling reassured. Reassured that others have overcome similar obstacles. Reassured that we’re not a generation of screw-ups.
It seems that no matter how far we feel we have come as a society, no matter how many new technologies we’ve discovered, at the end of the day, we’re still just humans, struggling with the same issues as those who came before us.
It turns out that today isn’t so different from yesterday after all, and there’s no need to turn back time. We’re right where we need to be.