Blessed are those that can give without remembering and receive without forgetting.

~ Author Unknown ~

Happy Days Yesterday and Today

September 29th, 2011 ~ Est. reading time: 2 mins, 0 secs

Every age has its happy days

“Forget Happy Days. The only Happy Days you’ll ever see are reruns with that Fonzie fella.”

Blame Uncle Ludwig for that pearl. He reckons the happy days of his childhood were the best yet. Worse, he declares they’re the only happy days we’ll ever get.

The 1950s,” he keeps moaning “made mincemeat outta today. These days nobody even knows what happy days are.”

Thanks Uncle Ludwig for telling me that. Again. You can stop now.

“Today everything is all drugs, wars, and computers. Back then we were living. People now know nothing!”

Time to assume my Dr Evil expression, hold my little finger to my cheek and say “R-i-g-h-t…”

You may not have an Uncle Ludwig in your life. But perhaps you do feel that the happy days of your childhood have indeed gone for good and everything seems not quite as it should.

The good ol’ days: when things were cheap, and life was simple. You knew who you were back then, and everything had its place. It’s true too. At least, to a point. Some things have certainly got worse. There’s so many people on the planet now we’re starting to leave a rather large brown stain on the place (or, you can call it a footprint and it’ll make you sound cool).

I’m happy to say, though, that there’s a lot of good happening too.  We couldn’t even be having this conversation right now if not for the Internet. And what about mobile phones, not to mention the great strides of medicine and science? Despite all that’s bad, there’s a lot to be thankful for.

According to a psychological study I read about in New Scientist a while back, we have a natural tendency to perceive the past was better. So believing your most cherished, happy days happened years ago makes sense whether it was true or not. The study suggested that because we tend to have more difficulty remembering pain than pleasure, the happy side of life tends to win out.

But I also wonder whether the timing of our happy days also tends to align with our growing years, and cherished romances. If so, the fact our experience of life intensified during those times could also have a strong bearing.

Stumbling upon a blog called Dick’s World, (No, I’m not making this up), I saw Dick had republished an article by a fellow called Hal Midgette (Honestly, I am not pulling your leg) which explores whether the really old days were that happy after all. Reading it pretty much took the varnish off Uncle Ludwig’s rantings, I can tell you. Though I expect he wouldn’t care. No matter how good it gets, for him it’ll forever be just a crummy rerun of the good life back in those happy, happy days of the 50s and 60s…


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