“In the good old days…”
How many times have each of us heard that phrase?
But when were the “good old days”?
I think for each generation, they are when we were children…when we were blissfully and innocently unaware of the turmoil and conflicts that were around us.
Certainly, looking back from a historical perspective, I have yet to find a time period that was “perfect”…when everything in life was acceptable for everyone.
We are constantly growing, constantly changing, and that may be why we periodically would like to go back to those “good old days.” Change is difficult! It requires us to sometimes throw away outdated traditions, unrealistic expectations, inappropriate perspectives. But–as much as we would like to sometimes–we cannot stay frozen in time.
We are called to find the basic principles from the past that provide us with a foundation to build on–but not to stay in the past.
I know–sometimes we romanticize the past. We go to living history sites (like Williamsburg–which I love), and wander around, thinking what a wonderful time that was. But not if you were a woman…a slave…a poor farmer… Or we may live in an area where there is a large Amish population–a population that in many ways has decided to live in the 17th or 18th centuries.
Our world, though, requires us to deal with understandings and technologies that were not in existence in the “good old days”–regardless of the time frame we consider. And while we may wish that some of them had never come into existence, we cannot ignore them, but we must learn how to live with them…how to control them, lest they control us.
The “good old days” are always now…and we need to learn to accept the good, the bad, and the ugly of them, because those parts are always inextricably intertwined.