What Are “The Good Old Days?”


I was talking to a friend recently, and he made the statement, “Those were the good old days.” He was referring to the late sixties, when both of us were in college. I know that a few years ago there was a New York Times article about the sixties (1960 – 1970) being the “good old days”; that was about using the sixties as a theme for advertising. My friend was talking about how life was so great, in the “good old days” of the late sixties. Now, I am not denying that there was a lot of good in those days, but were they really the “good old days?” Compared to what?

I think it is fine to talk about the “good old days” some, but if one does it “too” much, then it can create problems. When we spend a lot of time talking about the past (good old days), we often find fault in the way things are today. We tend to use the “good old days” as a standard for judging the present. Of course, there are times when the past is better than the present, but if we think that nothing is as good as the “good old days,” then we fall victim to affirming it as the truth. In other words, we make it, in our mind, our reality. To say it in another way, we become prejudice against anything in the present. We don’t give the present a chance, because NOTHING is as good as the “good old days.”

I think it is important to realize that we are always moving toward the future. With that in mind, we must also watch out for remaining “stuck in the present.” Just like my friend keeps referring to the “good old days,” I don’t want to think that the future won’t be better than the present. If I do, then all I will be able to think about is the present and how things are now. Consider this question – what are we becoming, if we think we are what we are accomplishing? I think what we are becoming is usually more important than what we are accomplishing.

OK, so what should we do?

Forget the past? NO – learn from it.

Forget the present? NO – live in it.

Forget about the future? NO – stay grounded in the present, but focus on the future by visualizing and affirming what you want it to be!

So, what are the “good old days?”

The past, if emphasis is placed on “old.”

The present, if emphasis is placed on “days.”

The future, if emphasis is placed on “good.”

What are your “good old days?”



2 Comments on “What Are “The Good Old Days?””

  1. What a thought-provoking article. It’s funny that you mention the new and old, the past and current because that’s essentially the nature I’m “harnessing ” to push a project I call The Podcast Bug ( http://www.podcastbug.com ) It’s a fully autonomous mobile podcasting recording studio built into a 1974 custom Volkswagen Superbeetle. It instantly grabs attention/turns heads because of its looks even when it’s not “open”, and when it IS open, it makes the switch inside of people’s heads turn on to wonder “what is THAT?”

    Your post is yet another something I wish I could whip out of my wallet and share with many people that I meet both in my workplace, my family life and beyond. Thanks for the great post and I look forward to reading more!


  2. NOTE: The following comment was written by a friend (Dennis Corcoran) who explained to me that he didn’t know where to post it on my blog. I chose here and posted it for him. Enjoy!

    First submitted on 2009/04/13 at 12:44 pm
    You’ve written here about Obama. Love. Poetry. Ethos. Pathos. Et Al. Here are some thoughts I had on inauguration day I’d like to share. I think they relate. Of course, I think a lot of off-base things.

    January 20, 2009
    By Dennis Corcoran

    I can hardly think about Barak Obama becoming president without crying. And I can’t easily explain why.

    I remember when JFK was elected. I was in a monestary then, a high school freshman. I was blown away – a catholic became president. Years before, when we lived in Virginia, my mom and dad told us we couldn’t play with the neighbor kids. We were catholic and they didn’t like that.

    I remember, too, the day an old, black man stepped off the sidewalk, into the road, to let my mom and me pass. Tidewater Virginia in those days represented much of what made America shameful.

    But JFK was elected. Viet Nam was just a place then, not a war. And Martin Luther King, a young preacher, faced the worst in us, and preached hope, that a change would one day come.

    And it seemed for a time it would.

    I was a senior the day JFK was killed. The principle told us to go home and pray. Stunned and silent, we did.

    Then Martin was killed. Cities went up in flames. We were at war with ourselves. Hatred boiled onto the streets. I was a full-time student by day, a full-time police clerk by night.

    That night, at shift change, the desk sergeant yelled, “King’s shot dead”. Some cheered. Sgt. Byrd fired his riot gun into the ceiling, an accident, he said. He was black – and angry. Me, too, but mostly scared.

    Everything good had turned to stone – cold, damp, stones. Viet Nam drove it home. I was drafted. Being a conscientious objector helped, but pain, death were everywhere. Johnson quit. Nixon resigned. Ford, Carter, Reagan, Clinton, the Bushes all had their day.

    Yet not since JFK and Martin Luther King have I heard a national leader ask us to be and do something bigger, better than we are. JFK said it was on us to eradicate poverty. Martin said we needed to build a just society. I was young then. I totally believed it, and in it, and in them. And it was all blown away. ALL BLOWN AWAY.

    Maybe that’s why I cry. I’ve kept so much, so bottled up, for so long. I just don’t know how now to let it all go.

    In 1969, 400,000 of us were gased and beaten on that mall. Today, 2,000,000 gathered there, peacefully, and, with a few words, solemnly spoken so all could hear, perhaps a nation, a world, rose out of a long, dark night.

    And maybe that, too, is why I cry.


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