I think we look back to the days of our youth with nostalgic affection. Those were the days of optimism, possibility, idealism and passion. Those were days of love and opportunity. We stood on the threshold and looked forward to an endless array of wonderful things.
Now we are older and our life is mainly behind us. The future does not look so rosy.
But were things really better back then? No. I think not.
I was brought up in the post-war days and played on bomb-sites. The economy was rubbish. We had just come out of rationing. But the Labour Government had brought in the wonderful NHS, schooling was improving and they were fighting for a fair wage and better working conditions. They were clawing some social justice from the establishment.
What my generation had was vastly better than my Mum’s generation. She lived through real poverty with families living on starvation diets, sewn into clothes for winter, sharing shoes or having rags tied round their feet in the snow, having terrible education in classes of fifty plus and not being able to afford a doctor. There were large families where death was a regular visitor.
I grew up in much better conditions than that. We had the NHS, antibiotics, class sizes under thirty, refrigerators, a black and white telly, but there were no fitted carpets, telephones or central heating.
Now we have better wages, a whole range of luxury goods – fridges, washing machines, computers, colour TVs, dishwashers, mobile phones, entertainment systems, cameras, and a thousand more. My house is crammed with devices and stuff. I can travel abroad and buy experiences.
I think we take it for granted. I think we have selective memory.
The past was not really so great. The future is looking bright. Not all politicians are greedy, selfish bastards with their snouts in the trough. Some are idealists who are still looking for ways to make life better.
Perhaps it is time to be more optimistic? After the megalomania of Trump and the establishment loving Tories there might be a new age with idealistic politicians who will dump the establishment and forge a better world.
Where we are is pretty good. I think we should appreciate it more. It was hard fought for.