The Good Old Days

Last week, someone lead me to Macklemore’s song titled “These are the good old days”. I have been so taken by it that I could not keep myself from sharing it with you. These lines, particularly.

“I wish somebody would have told me, babe
That someday, these will be the good old days”

Aren’t they awesome? Well, I certainly think so.

Nostalgia And The Good Old Days

First, the good old days. Am sure you have heard people talk of the good old days? Like a point in time when everything was pristine. The sun was up there, people were warm and everything was nice! Conversation about the good old days always had a thinly veiled yearning for going back in time.

The other day, I read a piece in the New York Times where Dr. Omar Sultan Haque , a Harvard psychiatrist and social scientist speaks of two “selfs”. The experiencing self and the remembered self. When you go on a vacation, it does involve a degree of stress. Catching planes, carrying luggage, a tough hike or even bad food.

It takes a commitment, energy and effort to get through these stressors while having the holiday. But years later, whilst remembering the holiday, these stressors don’t stay with us. Better memories obscure these stressors and provide great succour. That is completely in line with my experience

The other day, while looking up pictures from yesteryear on my phone, I traversed a decade with a few scrolls. The pictures there brought a smile on my face. I remembered the good old times, without as much thought to the troubles of that time. Those were the good old times, I thought, and wondered where they went!

Assume that it is 2032 today. Lets do some time travel. Ok? Just play with me.

It is 2032. The summer Olympics are happening in Brisbane, Australia. You are flying in a supersonic jet to get there. And in the in-between moments, you scroll through some images from 10 years ago. Within three scrolls of your finger you are starting at images from 2022. You look up from the phone and say, “oh, the good old days”!

Enough time travel. Get back here. Quick, tell me what images did you see?

The point is, someday in the future, the present times will be the good old days. And we better treat the present with respect of how good each day can be.

Here’s Something To Try

Here are two things I recommend. Stuff that I am trying to do, with mixed degree of success.

  1. Talk to people and build relationships. Conversations have been an unfortunate victim to the progress we have made in technology. We mistake proximity for intimacy. Speaking to real people, in a simple way laced with curiosity and humility brings alive so many possibilities. Try.
  2. Action together. Try doing things together with people. Friends, family, colleagues, neighbours. And many more. And when am speaking of action, I highly recommend pursuing stuff at the edge of your comfort zone.

Both of these help create shared memories. I remember Maya Angelou’s fantastic quote, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

I tell you what, the good old days are about how you feel about them! And by the way, these are the good old days. Please go talk to someone! 🙂

OWL Despatch
OWL Despatch

The OWL Despatch

The OWL Despatch is at edition 102. Every fortnight I curate five interesting reads that caught my eye and put something together that made me think. I started this out a few years ago. Yes, in the good old days, when everything was good!

  1. First off, here is the piece in NYT titled “How your brain morphs stressful family vacations into pleasant memories”. My memories of my good old days got triggered!
  2. First off, here is a curation titled Twenty-Five Useful Thinking Tools. I loved it. ” I’m more interested not in what types of problems professions try to solve, but how they try to solve them. Here, we can uncover a wealth of different thinking tools that are often abstract enough to apply well outside the typical interest of the profession. ”
  3. Metaverse and meditation? Well, looks like it is possible. Here’s something on achieving calm in the metaverse.
  4. Have you paused and asked, where have all the Einstiens gone? Well, here is an essay by Erik Hoel, “Why we stopped making Einsteins“. Makes a prescient case for relook at our ways of education.
  5. Screen time and kids? I have been having a sea of emotions on this topic. But this piece helped me get calmer. Take a look.

That’s that for this edition. Stay safe and talk to someone. And remember, one day, these will be the good old days.

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