A-Z Challenge: N is for Nostalgia

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Briton Riviere 'The Old Gardener'

Briton Riviere 'The Old Gardener'

N is for Nostalgia.   The good old days. Times past.  " Back in the old days we..." How many times have you reflected, remembered better days, happier times? Nostalgia offers the poignant remembrance that social values appear to have changed. "Society is different. Civilization and humanity itself has somehow changed."

Changed for the Better? Is It Changed at All?

Today it is easy to sit back in sorrow, listening to tragic events unwinding in appalling news, -and dwell in the confines of nostalgia.   It is easy to conclude that yes, life seemed better 'in the old days', life was 'safer', and  more 'family-oriented'. People seemed more kind and more helpful to one another, society seemed gentler. White picket fences. Mom & Pop corner stores.  Happy children. Afternoon matinees with popcorn and  a soda at the ice cream shop. The illusion of 'the good life'  lived on happily-perhaps dangerously and naively  so. World War II was finished and life was 'peaceful'.   Is nostalgia itself deceiving us?

Yes, Nostalgia is Easy-But  It is also Easy to be Disillusioned and  Wrong.

Life was easy and  better then.    Easy right into into Korea.  Vietnam.  Somalia. Easing right into  Bosnia, the Gulf Wars, 9/11,  terrorism,  Iraq.  Afghanistan. Close your eyes, ignore reality, flash forward, to  better times and let's just skip those endless, terrible events.  'Life's better now."    Right. In today's world  Iran is threatening peace in the Middle East, secular unrest everywhere is rampant and unpredictable,  and North Korea's bluster  is threatening nuclear annihilation of the USA. Horrific terrorist acts by fanatics with their own deadly agenda, like yesterday's insanity of bombing of innocents at the Boston Marathon Bombing, madmen shooting children at Sandy Hook,  and Columbine, --and endless other venues keep happening. It is incredibly sad to hear of beloved, 8-year-old children being victims of fanatic terrorists in any venue.   Death, mayhem and destruction today may suddenly make the past appear more peaceful, --but in reality it was not. These cowardly and inexcusable incidents and attacks upon the innocent are unbelievably sad, terribly tragic to families of those lost, maimed and  injured--and frightening to the ever more wary, scared, and nervous public.  Our hearts and prayers go out to our American neighbours.  These incidents will never be forgotten-they are printed indelibly on the minds of children and adults alike--worldwide, all of humanity. Senseless acts such as these, regardless of venue and detail, are rooted in evil and madness. We poignantly wish to somehow distance our minds from the pain and evil of today, and slip into nostalgia, the "perfect peace of older times". We willingly disillusion ourselves. If one questions the reality that is the imaginary past --so easily contrived with the art of nostalgia --was civilization any better?  No. Is this time in history really changed for the 'better' --or worse --if at all ? No. We think not. The same elements of collective human insanity exist. Genocide, murder, war, bombings, rape, and the warmonger's disruption of peace. The venues may change but  the foolishness,  violence and insanity of humanity does not.  The same insatiable greed, stupidity, and foolishness exists.  Social problems continue to receive the same unacceptable lip service. The same brutality, animalistic behaviour, pervasive hate and racism are 'alive and well'.   Wars and mind-chilling rumors of the ultimate war persist.  The grip of perpetual and progressively worse fear is endlessly encouraged to invade the psyche, encouraging the belief that the events of today are somehow so much  worse than the past.  Instil more fear. Frightened people are easier to control by power-hungry governments.  There is nothing new under the sun. We must come to understand . Only the names of the victims change.  A quantum leap in the way society thinks and develops is required. As an aside, it seems to me that one fact of nostalgia itself remains constant.           In reality, the victims of  nostalgia are all of us. Collectively.   That is why N is for nostalgia.   Is that Incoming I hear/ Photo credit:   Briton Riviere: 'The old gardener'    Wikimedia commons +  FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

About Raymond Alexander Kukkee

A published author and freelance writing professional, Raymond lives and writes in Northwestern Ontario.
This entry was posted in Humanity, Life, Major Issues, Reflections, The Unknown and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to A-Z Challenge: N is for Nostalgia

  1. glory Lennon says:

    It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…t’is true ALL the time!

    • Glory, absolutely. The good comes with the bad at all times, we have to roll with the punches, go with the flow, and do our best–without the delusion that ‘other times’ were so much better. Reality goes a long way…Thank you Glory, I treasure my American friends.

  2. Olivia says:

    Ahh Raymond as usually you said it so well. We thank you for your reflections on the Boston Terrorism, when it strikes one of us, it strikes us all in one way or another.

    • Thank you, Olivia, you are another of my treasured American friends- you are so right–it strikes each of us differently, but it does affect every one of us. We must stand and move on, no matter how difficult it may seem.

  3. jeremy bates says:

    wow! talk about a deep post! great how you tied so much into it
    im a bit of an optimist, and im not looking to the “good old days” of the past
    i hope the future will be better than the past

  4. buddhakat says:

    Very well said, concisely and succinctly, Raymond… we do give the “lip service” to fulfill certain “obligations”, yet nothing is changed by “lip service”.
    And the fear is preserved such that when more hateful actions are done, fingers are quick to point to the “usual suspects”.
    I question the wisdom of nostalgia when it comes to “enemies” There is always so much more than meets the eye… and we are so easily convinced that familiar enemies, the “usual suspects”, like nostalgia are always to be called up again.
    Wonderful post, Raymond!!

  5. Thank you, Janet…as a society we are incredibly guilty of not making changes that are obviously required– blatantly so. Paying ‘lip service’ not only doesn’t solve problems, in fact it exacerbates them badly with the added frustration –and guilt created by neglect and failure to act. When the pressure finally builds and the lid blows off, let’s just blame whoever is handy–and the ‘usual suspects’ ARE handy via nostalgia or not. The ‘quick pointing of fingers’, and fast arrests ‘alleviates’ the guilt of the leadership doesn’t it. Perhaps to them–but not to anyone that actually thinks.
    Even so, I suppose nostalgia has it’s place…

  6. As usual, Alexander, you said it well. Okay, When I post my N tomorrow, hope I can do as well. You are so right. Only the names change. And where we are going is much more important than where we came from, not that we have to forget the latter to get the first. But that’s why it’s called the Cycle of Life. Thank God there is rebirth. That will probably be my R.

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