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When Were the Good Old Days?

Excerpt from Daily Cures, Wisdom for Healthy Aging by Connie Mason Michaelis

Remember Carroll O’Connor and Jean Stapleton singing the theme song to All in The Family? “Boy, the way Glenn Miller played… songs that made the Hit Parade…guys like us, we had it made…those were the days….Hair was short, and skirts were long…Kate Smith really sold a song…I don’t know just what went wrong…those were the days.” As I recall, everything was going wrong for Archie Bunker. He represents the stereotype of an old man who is stuck in the past and not willing to change! Do you use that expression “The good old days?” When you stop to think about that, you realize that what you’re referring to as the good old days were the bad days for an earlier generation.  The life trauma and frustration they complained about is now what you’re calling the good old days. Human nature strikes again!

Although the nightly news throws us into a spiral of depression, the truth is that the state of the world today is better than any other time in history. Joe Schlesinger, in his CBS analysis, You do know, right, the world is getting better.  He says, “By almost any measure — life expectancy, literacy, global nutrition, war deaths — the trend line is up.” The role of Elders in a society is to bring the wisdom of the past into the present so that the future will be even better. There is no going back, nor would we choose it. Brooks Atkinson, Pulitzer Prize-winning correspondent and theater critic said, “In every age, the good old days were a myth. No one ever thought they were good at the time. For every age has consisted of crises that seemed intolerable to the people who lived through them.” Unlike Archie, let’s be the beacon of hope for today because these are the good old days!

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