Monday, March 25, 2013

Back in MY Day...

Such a loaded phrase. "Back in MY day..." 

I don't like this phrase, not just because of the condescension with which its normally used, but because of how rigid it is. To idolize the past and dismiss and devalue the present is to decide the best is already behind you. You have peaked, and will never again attain the levels of joy you once had.

Does that sound pleasant to you? To declare that your best years are already behind you, and now you're just coasting until you kick the proverbial bucket?

I think the thing that bothers me is that it denies the inevitability that the world has changed. And furthermore, it nullifies the world's *right* to change.  To evolve. To blend the old and the new, and come up with something unique and special that has never been before.

And it's exclusionary.  To say "back in my day" is to say, "my day is over, it's your day now." Well, that's great, except that now I can be part of your day, but you can't be part of mine. My glory days are over now, and you missed them. I've added all the things to my life I'll ever add, and you're just not on the list. Sorry.

How depressing. And limiting. What about stories? What about cultivating a shared history? Don't you want to pass on your legacy? Your experience? Too often, our own children are too young or too disinterested to benefit from the years of experience we've gained. Shouldn't we pass our knowledge on to someone who can use it?

But I think the biggest issue I have with the phrase "back in my day," is that it implies that "my day" is over. Last I checked, I was upright, above ground, and breathing. Every day I'm a live, every day I draw breath, every single second of my entire existence is "my day." Because, figuratively and literally, the day we stop adding to our lives is the day we die.

1 comment:

  1. My gosh, if you have not seen Midnight in Paris, go watch it now. It will go along fantastically with this line of thinking. I adore the film for exactly that reason.