I recently watched a movie The Gangs of New York, which depicts life in New York City in the 1860’s. I don’t remember my education in history covering the life and violence of the conflicting gangs in the Five Points district of the city. As much as people may complain about the difficulties of life today, and the loss of values and respect for fellow mankind, it certainly does not compare the suffering people endured back then.
And what followed this time period? The gold rush and the experiences in the wild west. The turn of the century and prohibition. The 1920’s sound like they were nice. The Great Depression. The Woman’s rights movement. The Civil Rights movement. Two world wars, the atom bomb, Chernobyl, Vietnam, the Cold War… I suppose the 1990’s were nice again for people living in the US.
So what historical time period do we idolize and compare our current situation to? I suppose we are remembering the prosperous condition of any past group of people under any time period. As if those worry free and stable situations of these particular groups of people were far-reaching, long-lasting, and never to be found again.
Or maybe in remembering The Good Ole Days is a heartwarming reminisce about anything. A time when we long for an ideal lifestyle. Sometime we imagine where everyone contributes what they can for the good of the group, where people work hard to earn their share of resources, where people are not discriminated against for gender, age, sexual orientation, beliefs, or anything other than their actions. Where basic necessities include good education and health care, a decent wage to earn a living, and quality time with your family. Can you believe there is a magazine that does just that? The Good Ole Days
I think this happens throughout history, including today. Unfortunately it’s not universal for all people.