The nostalgia effect

Ashley Calvani | Online Editor

The past was a simpler, better time. Wasn’t it?

A time when we had leaders like MLK Jr. to fight for our rights and Eisenhower for our economic prosperity. Sure there were a few bumps here and there, but what is the War on Terror compared to WWII, when the entire nation rallied to support and defend the country?

When America was the world superpower.

Yes, we had it made. And now, the present is bleak, our prospects bleaker.

The political ads more vicious than ever, the state of our economy practically stagnant, the education of our children slowly declining. What’s a country to do? Remember the better days?

I call this The Nostalgia Effect, a condition classified by scowls on the faces of the boomer generation accompanied with the broken-record “back in my day” mutterings, declining hopes for our country’s future, and passive, nonchalant attitudes from our young, our soon-to-be leaders, about their role in the beautiful mess we call America.

A country with such a severe case of The Effect is troublesome to me. Not because I don’t wish that we lived in a simpler time, but because I’m afraid we will give up. Settle.

Besides, has there ever really been a decade without some of The Effect? No doubt a few lost souls from the 20’s longed for a more conservative America, or a more intellectual America. No doubt the older generation in the 80’s wished for the days of hard work and building with your own two hands. It’s an ever-continuing idea.

We’re not going to make any progress if we keep wishing reality away. I’m urging everyone to take responsibility for the world and country we do live in, even if you don’t think it’s your fault. Even if it’s hard. The economy, the war, the questions surrounding the debate on the sanctity of marriage, the declining attitude towards education, it may not be pretty, but it’s what we have to deal with. What we have to fix.

Let’s stop wishing it were better, and let’s make it better. Feel free to start here.


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