Wednesday Words of Wisdom: Words to live by #4

Don’t look back. You’re not going that way.

In many respects I’m a nostalgic sort of person. I listen to contemporary music but when I fire up my iPod I’m most likely to lean towards a 1980s or 1990s album or playlist. I watch a lot of modern TV but I love boxsets of old shows too. Being a parent means I spend a lot of time reflecting on my own childhood.

But equally I’m not one of these people who is always harking back to the ‘good old days’ or complaining when someone creates a new version of something that is different to the original. (For instance, see many people’s negative reactions to the new CGI Thunderbirds Are Go which, personally, I love.)

To be honest, I’ve never really understood that. Things are never going to be the same as they were – nor should they be. The world moves on. It is a different place to the one we grew up in. And if we don’t move with it we get left behind.

So why wallow in the past? Or criticise the world our kids are growing up in as being inferior to the one we remember through rose-tinted glasses (because nothing bad ever happened back then, right?) Why worry about a past we cannot change when we can do something about the present we currently occupy?

Until someone invents a time machine, we’re not going to be travelling back in time. And a desire to replicate the past can only ever deliver, at best, an exact copy: it will never produce a better outcome.

So while I think it’s okay to remember, appreciate and even immerse ourselves in the past sometimes, when it comes to where I’ll be devoting my energy it will be a case of eyes front and ensuring that my kids enjoy the here and now and have the best possible future. History is just that: history.

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