The “Good Ol’ Days”
Estimated Lesson Time: 3 minutes
Remember the good ol’ days? It was a time when bread cost a nickel, people were kind to one another, and life seemed so simple. “Ah, the good ol’ days... if only life were like this today, then I would be happy and successful.” Right.
The concept of the “good ol’ days” must be one of our society’s biggest delusions, top reasons for depression, as well as most often used excuse for lack of success. It is the gloomy belief that the world is headed downhill, and life was “better” at some time in the past. Believers of this theory of gloom and doom make excuses for their lack of success by proclaiming, “if only...”
Here is a little-known fact: people tend to focus on past successes and current problems. To rephrase, our minds tend to remember our own past successes as well as past global successes made by society without acknowledging the failures. Our minds also tend to focus on our current problems, no matter how insignificant. When thinking about inflation, people tend to remember when bread cost a nickel but forget that they made only ten cents an hour. Or they think about how clean the air was before automobiles, but forget about not being able to walk on a city street without stepping in horse poop. As you can see, this creates a skewed or unfair perception of reality by seeing only the successes of the past and the problems of today.
When were the good ol’ days? Back in the days of colonial America where our “kinder” ancestors treated people as property? How about the early 20th century when polio was killing tens of thousands of children? The 1930s where Nazism was growing rapidly? The ’40s with WWII, the ’60s with the spread of drugs, the ’80s with cell phones the size of toasters? The truth is that the “good ol’ days” are today. It has been said, that which does not kill us, makes us stronger. As a global society, the same concept holds true: that which does not destroy us, makes us wiser and better. It is because of slavery we now have civil rights, it is because of the holocaust we have a deeper compassion for differences in the human race, and it is because of the Internet bust we have a more stable economy today.
Realize that the good ol’ days are today. The world is full of opportunities today that did not exist yesterday. Every day both science and technology improve allowing people to live longer, healthier lives. Information is readily available at the speed of light allowing us to expand our minds like never before in history. Embrace today as the best time in history, for there is no better time to pursue your dreams.
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Some discussion questions (some may not apply to this lesson):
- Have you implemented this idea in your life? How has it been working for you?
- Do you have any interesting stories related to this lesson? Do tell!
- What do you admire most about this person? (success biography days)