The good old days are behind us, or at least that’s what most of the youth think. It’s certainly what those who have lived before our independence have been saying and insinuating lately. With each fuel price increase or scandal in the government or scandal of any nature really, a comparison to the ‘good old days’ is thrown around here and there.
For the youth, there isn’t really much reference to go off on for such a comparison. Maybe the price of lollipops went up a few cents more, or the chip packets are no longer as full as they used to be, or nowadays cartoons are not as age-appropriate as they were during their time; it’s nothing like the good old days.
It doesn’t matter what it is, the good old days are just that – old days – and they are behind us now, and I know for certain that crying for them won’t bring them back. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works. While there might’ve been some positives from back then, we can’t pretend that we are not incredibly lucky and fortunate to find ourselves in the present time. For all its worth, we can all agree that life in general today is certainly better than in the good old days; might not be as cheap, but certainly better.
Sometimes, we really do take things for granted. For many of us young ones, we can only imagine what life was like during the apartheid era, or what it’s like to not have had basic fundamental rights and freedoms bestowed upon us. Sure, we read about it and hear from those who experienced that life, but to fully comprehend it is beyond us. One small incident, and we think we live the most barbaric or outrageous life ever, making the old days seem like paradise on earth.
People’s experiences in life are different and more importantly, people’s interpretation of experiences differs from person to person. What may be the good old days to you may have been hell on earth for the next person; what may be a difficult life for you today, could be paradise for someone who became the first person in their family to graduate from a university or buy a car or even travel outside their hometown. Can you imagine telling that person you miss the good old days?
• Olavi Popyeinawa
• Twitter: @olavipopyeinawa
• Email: firstname.lastname@example.org