The Good Old Days


Hey there folks. As some of you may know I studied history in college because I made the decision to study something I loved rather than something that was profitable. I have a lot of reasons for doing so but that is a discussion for another day. Today I want to talk about something that has bothered me for a long time and that is the phrase “the good old days”.

 

I know that people tend to look at the past through rose colored glasses and honestly I am no different. I would much rather remember the happy thoughts than hang on to the negative, but that is in regards to my personal life. I have encountered a disturbing number of people who want to look at human history with those same rose colored glasses. Every time someone mentions these “good old days” I feel like ripping my hair out and have to resist the urge to scream “when did these good old days ever exist”.

 

Now I also understand that for many of us it has been a very long time since we looked at a history book and lets be honest even when we were supposed to do so we didn’t. However, thousands of pages have been written detailing events of the past that can by no means be described as good and thousand more could easily be written. Crimes like murder, rape, and theft have existed for as long as we have. Even if you do not buy into that whole “science” thing, the Bible tells us that these crimes existed as early as the first people.

 

It is easy to believe that things in our modern world are out of control. You turn on the news and get barraged by stories focused on the worst we have to offer as a society. Well guess what this does not mean that these things did not occur in the past we just didn’t have the technology to gather and disseminate information. Forensic science makes it more difficult to evade capture when we do something wrong and people world wide are walking around with devices in their pockets that allow them to take pictures and capture video. When we do capture that video it can go up on the internet and be spread across the globe in a matter of minutes. All of these extra eyes everywhere means that more and more of our dirty little secrets are coming out in the open.

 

Going hand in hand with this technological boom is the simple fact that there are more people on the planet right now than have ever been at any point in human history. Modern medicine saves many lives that would not have been possible in years past. As simply put as possible more people means more opportunity for bad things to happen. This does not mean that people are generally any worse than they used to be, it is just easier to run into a bad person because more of them exist.

 

Finally, the past does not get to take any moral high ground. All of civilization is built upon a foundation that includes hatred, greed, and oppression. Fear of otherness whether based on skin color, gender, or religion has been responsible for unspeakable horrors for centuries.

 

Despite all of this I do not think the past was all bad. There were many amazing things that should be remembered. However, as important as it is to remember the good, it is even more important to never forget the bad no matter what scale you examine the past on. You cannot fix a problem if you do not acknowledge that a problem exists. So allow me to offer up a simple challenge to everyone who takes the time to read this. The next time you reflect on the “good old days” take the full trip and remember one great thing and do not forget one thing you never want to repeat. If we can all do that I feel like we will all be in pretty damn good shape.

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