It occurred to me the other day when I was reminiscing about the beautiful, orange-sun-drenched, all-smiles-no-worries happy days of youth with a childhood friend of mine. About how pure everything was, how nice people were and how peaceful it all seemed then compared to the problems and worries of today.
Then it occurred to me, as I mentioned already, that we tend to look back on the good old days with misty-eyed romanticism and longing mainly because we were not exposed to any of the atrocities happening elsewhere in the world. All the violence and wars, street crimes and starving children, senseless bigotry and unnecessary killings were happening back then just as they are now. The only difference is we, as kids, we not exposed to them. There were no 24-hour channels bringing the guns and gore right into our livingrooms. We didn't even have TVs then in fact. Whether it was the mindless deaths during the Vietnam War or the murder of innocents by blood thirsty monsters posing as dictators in some African country, we read about them in the newspapers. Depending on how serious the national news was, the global atrocities either made it to the front page or they didn't. Even then, we, as school-going kids, didn't bother to read about them, especially when there were cricket matches involving the Indian team.
Priorities and exposure. These decide how you look back on your growing-up years. It's not that people were not getting killed or that children were not going hungry, it's just that we had our minds focused on passing the next exam. We didn't have to worry about where the next meal was going to come from. We didn't have to work to feed and clothe us. We were kids, so we were shielded from the unnecessary harshness of reality by our parents. Everything was just as it is now. Granted things have become more violent and senseless on a more frequent basis with every bullet fired landing on your dining table but essentially not much has changed.
Perhaps that's what fogs up our perspective and tints out glasses a lovely shade of rose when we look back on the good old days. Ah, those were the days, weren't it?