“Good grief, Charlie Brown!” What are the good old days? I start this off with a famous quote attributed to Charles Schulz and his writing in the well-known Peanuts comic strip. The Peanuts comic strip ran from 1950 to 2000. During that time span, I undoubtedly experienced some of my “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 and had some life-defining moments. A few years ago there was a New York Times article about the sixties (1960 – 1970) being the “good old days.” The article was, primarily, about using the sixties as a theme for advertising. During our conversation, my friend talked about how great life was in the good old days of the late sixties. Now, I am not denying there was a lot of good in those days, but were they really the good old days? Compared to what?
I don’t think there is anything wrong with talking about the good old days, but if one does it too much, then it can create problems. How can talking about the good old days create problems, you might wonder? Well, 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 the good old days, in our mind, our present reality. To say it in another way, we become prejudiced 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 future, if emphasis is placed on “good.”
The past, if emphasis is placed on “old.”
The present, if emphasis is placed on “days.”
What are your “good old days?”