There's this phenomenon exploding in this age of progress and technology. It is a disease in which humanity has basked itself through the ages but thrives in this social networking era.
It's called nostalgia, and I fully believe it is the sickness that hinders the evolution of the individual more than unpredictable situations and bankruptcy. It is a plague.
Before I get into it, I'm not condemning the fond remembrance of the past, nor am I trying to insult your life. I haven't walked in your shoes, haven't laughed your laughs or cried your tears. I have no reason to offend you.
However, I must address my biggest pet peeve: people saying that life was better when they were kids; that kids these days don't really have a childhood; that etiquette was much better and the worst of the worst "that was the best time of my life.”
Those examples are all self-inflicted interruptions in your present and dead ringers for a bleak future. I mean if you already think you lived the best time of your life, then what do you have to look forward to?
We all think our childhood was better because we were kids then. We had no worries in the world; we just had to get through the day and try not to upset our parents too much with our adventures. My generation talks about how cartoons were better, how we played outside, how we didn't have cell phones and that video games were amazing.
Yes, the cartoons were great, but most of them have dated terribly. Yes, we played outside, and we didn't have cells to distract us. Texting and phone conversations are still forms of communication, and kids these days still have the option of playing outside. It's all in the individual, not the times.
Social media has helped this world connect. Nowadays, a kid could be friends with another kid in a foreign country. They can learn each other’s cultures and help each other discover new things. How is that worse than when we were kids?
Hitting a console, blowing in a video game cartridge and hoping it worked was a lot of fun, right? Now, we have consoles in which we can play video games, watch TV and check the weather. The only reason you would see that as a bad thing is if you were infected with nostalgia.
I mean, I get it: My life has had some incredible times in the past. I was born and raised in a tropical island, moved to the coolest city in the world (my opinion, of course), I've had drunken nights that would put the movies to shame, have experienced many of the sexual adventures a teenager only dreams of and have had mild success as a playwright and production manager.
Now I just changed career paths, have a live-in girlfriend whom I spend most nights watching TV with instead of going out, and work at a restaurant while looking for a better job. It's not as exciting as it used to be, but I'm happier.
You see, we choose how we remember things and most of the time the sickness makes us glorify what we already lived. The tropical island was beautiful, but my family struggled a lot, especially my mother to give us a great life.
My drunken nights and sexual activities were epic, but they happened because I was empty; I felt more alone during this period than I have ever felt.
My success as a playwright and producer came because I was always afraid to chase what I really wanted which is to be a filmmaker. Now, it's not easy and money is not good, but I'm in a relationship that fulfills me.
I made the change to screenwriting and directing, and have not produced anything yet. I used to do a production every month but I'm happier now that I'm doing what I always wanted. I'm also more stressed.
All good and all bad come together. You choose how you remember it, but the present is happening and the future is coming. You can't commit to those if you choose to think your best times have passed.
You can't raise happy kids these days if you continue thinking your childhood was better. And you can't stop old pains from coming back, if you keep thinking about them.
It's all up to you. Nostalgia is the disease that prevents your future from being alive. It’s the plague in which you let yourself find comfort when you need to find courage.
Is the one thing that can destroy you from your past. Don't let it. Your future will be the best time of your life because you are building the foundation in your present. The past is in the past and that’s where it should stay.
Photo Courtesy: ABC/Full House