One of the things that frustrates me is when someone suggests that our culture or our world at large needs to "return to a simpler time" or "remember the good old days". Now, I realize that, being under 30 (or 40, or 50, or whatever the arbitrary cutoff for these kind of discussions is today), I'm doing exactly what everyone thinks of doing, reveling in the foolishness of my youth, whatever. (And yes, I just said 'whatever'. Don't hate me.)
There are a few problems with the "let's go back" line of logic, however. The easy way of saying it is that, essentially, the good old days weren't as good for everyone as they were for you, and that while times may have been simpler before today. that simplicity also reflected a lack of options for many people, even yourself. And sometimes we might feel that having fewer options is better. It is simpler.
For me, when I hear someone calling for a "return to old fashioned values" or the morals of their grandparents, I'm always curious what they're actually searching for. It's certainly true that there are problems in our society that weren't present fifty years ago, or at least not in the forms we see them. Yes, we live in a busy, sexualized and secularized culture. But a debate over whether this is good or bad is fruitless, and calls to revert are pure fantasy.
There's an endless quality to this desire to reach back--do we go back before MTV, or before penicillin? Do we go back to the past we wish we could have had, or the past as it actually was? Memories are never reliable: your life, even the worst moments of it, seared in your brain, becomes slightly softened and distant with time. Depending on what's being recalled, this can either be a curse or a mercy.
I'm curious to know what people think of this "returning to simpler times/better values/insert buzzworthy phrase here" idea. What do you wish people collectively could return to? What are you glad to have left behind?
And the biggest question: Is anything ever exactly where it should be? Or is there always something better, something worse?