It is quite often that we hear people of certain ages reminisce on how the era in which they grew up in was the best time to live and how fantastic it was. You can look up any music video to a popular song from the 80s or the 90s and you will see endless comments on how the 90s were better, how the 90s were the best era to grow up in, how the 90s were the most fun and exciting and simple time to live in, etc. This is understandable and it is expected for one to cling to their era in which they grew up in. Yes, one could say that the 80s and 90s were better as far as the economy, value of currency, housing, etc. However, there is a component of this which we must realize and come to understand. There are two things which play into this; decay and human nature. Before we get into that, we will tackle the psyche of people who either reminisce or claim their era to be the best.
It is essentially harmless for the most part when people think back favorably over the time in which they grew up; whether it is the 80s or 90s or any other era. We emphasize the 80s and 90s because that is the era which is most cited. People who grew up in the 40’s and 50’s will cite their time as the best. People who grew up in the 60’s and 70’s will cite their time as the best. People who grew up in the 80s or 90s will cite their time as the best and so on and so forth. People are particularly nostalgic to the time in which they grew up in which much of it has to do with that this era that they cite is when they were either children, teenagers, or young adults. That is the time of their life where they had the most fun and didn’t necessarily have the burden of work and the responsibilities that come with owning a house, paying for bills, etc. They didn’t have the burden of knowing the nature of the workplace and employers, people, family, friends, etc. They didn’t exactly get into the rut of having to deal with taxes, banks, and insurance companies just yet. Having to deal with that burden of knowledge and experiences with those aforementioned things over the course of a few years, maybe 4 to 10 years as a young individual, will not be as heavy on the person’s mind and spirit in comparison to having to deal with those things for 30 years or more. After a while, you get tired of the game.
What most people don’t realize is that once a certain period of your life has passed, it is over. You won’t be able to recapture the experiences and unique feelings that you had in your teens or your 20’s or 30’s. Even if you did the same activities in your 20s as you did in your 40’s or 50’s, the way your life is going and what your mental and spiritual states are at the time differ from each age. Going out to the movies or going to an amusement park is going to feel different from doing that in your 20’s in contrast to doing that in your 50’s. The difference is the position in which you are at in life and the responsibilities that you have in those times. A 52 year old man is generally not going to feel the same about going to an amusement park as he would’ve if he was 22 years old. There is a special effect which naivety and general ignorance of the world at large does on the mind. It helps you enjoy things just a bit more and become more immersed in the experience. The older you get generally coincides with your increasing awareness of the nature of people, jobs, businesses, family, friends, etc. Awareness and knowledge often comes with a sense of bitterness; especially if you don’t have higher things to lean on to look to for relief spiritually which is the case for the vast majority of people which is why they are as bitter and depressed as they are.
In order to navigate this life peacefully and to maintain a state of being content, you have to have a spiritual foundation to lean on; especially when stress and anxiety hit its highest points. As a young man or woman having to work a job and take care of rent, bills, groceries, child care expenses while dealing with the stumbling blocks that life gives you, you will hit your high points of stress; no matter how much you pray. It is a weakness of the flesh; we’re human beings. We will worry and over-think about things because that is just a part of our nature.
This is where we get to the question; was life really better in the 80s and 90s? To some extent, compared to current times, it was. Inflation did not spiral out of control yet, entertainment was better, groceries was not as contaminated with pesticides as it is now, and there was better optimism in life and for the future. All of these factors would create the most comfortable and ideal living situation for the average person. For a person born in the late 90s or the early 2000s, all that they’ve known is the bombarding of wars, three major recessions, inflation, failing of education system, the culture war, higher cost of living, and subsequently a far less optimistic stance on the present and future. Projection of the future is a major factor. If there is a lack of optimism in the current or future state of the country, it is going to be a major hindrance on the experiences of the people in general.
Now, going back to the effect of ignorance, that factor also plays in here between people in the 80s and 90s compared to people in the 2000s and 2010s. Due to the internet not being as expansive and vast in the information exchange back then, it was far easier to be a part of your own world and not be subject to information overload. Today, due to the information exchange, it is far easier to fall down rabbit holes and become hyperaware of corruption and or the legitimacy of certain things within government and society. Consuming too much of that information can also create rather unhappy and pessimistic people. With the 80s and 90s, there could only be so much information overload that could take place then. Even if one were to get overloaded with information back then, it wouldn’t have the same negative effect mentally considering the fact that optimism was a lot greater back then.
In addition to that, the other effect is the major wall that has been set up by smart phones, social media, and the Internet between people. A big complaint that millennials have is that no one can hold a conversation anymore without looking at or using their phone. Back then, conversation and outdoor activities was everything. Kids would go out to play in the park or playground immediately after-school or go to the library together or go to the movies together or the mall; basically all of the activities that we can still do. The difference is that there was not the boundary set up by the smart phones which take people’s undivided attention away from the meet up at hand. Some people have been raised up on the cell phone and computer entirely. There is a massive disparity across generations as far as communication goes because of this very effect. Baby boomers and Generation X got to the party late and has somewhat has adjusted but still maintains a major disconnect when it comes to cross-generational communication; in large part due to Generation Z’s disconnect from their form of communication which is more direct and face-to-face. Millennials and a large chunk of Generation Z have adjusted well and have embraced this digital era. They got a good blend of both the age before, during, and after the electronic era which allowed them to still have the best of both worlds to where they could relate to both the previous and current generations in conversation and communication. All that those on the latter end of Generation Z and Generation Alpha people know for the most part is the cell phone and digital communication. They’re far less motivated to go outside when they could stay home and enjoy the Internet but also video games which are something that people often overlook when it comes to this topic. Video games have also massively evolved from the millennials time. Some may argue that this has even more of an effect on kids and teens now in their lack to physically engage with the world in communication in comparison to the smart phones and the Internet. It is far easier for kids and teens to escape reality through video games, television, social media, and the Internet. For young adults who were born in the earliest stages of Generation Z or who are millennials, they had life experience previously to where they didn’t always had that ability to just lay in and not confront reality. They still had to intermingle with society and communicate directly with people because things were not as advanced then as it is now when it comes to the aforementioned things. They still have the ability to better confront reality and take things head on in comparison to the late Generation Z and Generation Alpha who have been more isolated from the hard lessons we learn in life from direct communication with people. It is not to say that they can’t communicate physically rather than digitally or they can’t socialize physically; it is just that they’re less likely to do so because that isn’t the fabric of their societal upbringing. A father was more likely 20 years ago to pull his son by the side and talk about how to deal with bullies or get better grades at school or make new friends. There was a far greater sense of open communication than there is now. The line of communication between parents and their kids have been blocked because they haven’t given their kids a reason to communicate. Many parents today have just been pacifying their children with gaming consoles, tablets, phones, and other tech devices. They haven’t taught them the intangibles on how to be open and communicative with people and how to express their feelings which is another issue. The pacifier that is the Internet and social media and gaming has allowed kids to suppress their feelings and bottle them up rather than confront them head on. This could happen with people of any age or generation but it is even more so the current generation. The fewer devices you can use to create a barrier for you that insulate you in this pocket reality you’d create for yourself, the greater the urgency and need becomes for you to confront your problems head on. Millennials need to find that balance of being able to communicate effectively physically and digitally and teach that balance to their kids. That is rather paramount to teach your kids because when someone is isolated from society and are not interacting with people on a daily basis, they become prey for predatory people who are looking for a target to pull a fast one on or bully or scam and that is for all facets of life. If your kid is completely isolated from interaction with people, you need to educate them on how exactly people will try to bully them, trick them, scam them, harass them, etc because otherwise, they’ll be prey to these predatory people out here and it will be your fault as a parent for not educating them and protecting them. Knowledge is a powerful tool which can both be used as a weapon and as a shield and in this case, it would be a shield because we all know that this society is full of people looking to take advantage of others.
Another factor which makes the 80s and 90s appear to be the best era is that it was the beginning of consumerism. Some may say that that this current era is the peak of consumerism and that just may be true. However, it seems that the peak of consumerism has passed and now we’re in the beginning stages of the decline of consumerism because of the economy and the entire state of the country at the moment. Nonetheless, consumer spending and commercialism really picked up during this time. This was also where the US had opened up economically and trade wise to China which was one of, if not the main things that helped initiate that. Toys, games, TV, movies, and animation all took off in a major way during this time. More of the movies and shows that we reflect on as classics now came from the 80s and 90s; like Back to the Future, Terminator, Scarface, Indiana Jones, Predator, Ghostbusters, etc. You can say that artistic creativity peaked in the 80s and 90s. However, something must be addressed.
The main thing here is that people often make the mistake of romanticizing the 80s and 90s as if there was nothing bad that ever happened during this time period. Admiring childhood memories or the life experiences that you had during that time period is one thing. Claiming that nothing bad was happening at that time is another thing. The 80s had many problems and bad things occur such as the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the War on Drugs, economic recessions, the Central Park Five incident, and more importantly, the beginning takeover of corporatism and Reaganomics which created much of the economic and social disasters that has followed suit thereafter. The 90s had just as many problems and bad things occurs such as the Waco police raids, the Oklahoma City bombings, the explosion of the prison industrial complex, the Balkan Wars, the continuation and expansion of cronyism and corporatism, extraordinary rendition, continuation of the War on Drugs, etc. Bad things happened. The 80s and 90s was not some magical paradise. While much of the populace was enjoying the entertainment and such, their government was deep into fast tracking and implementing the Great Work. People for the most part literally had no idea how the president at the time was involved in drug trafficking, supporting terrorism, and sex trafficking. If you don’t believe that, you can find that out easily through your own research. Bill Clinton who was president at the time was neck deep in the drug trade. Ronald Reagan who was president in the 80s presided over the Iran Contra scandal where they illegally sold weapons to Iran in order to fund the Contras in Nicaragua. That was the least criminal thing that the Reagan administration was involved in but that’s a story for another day. The Reagan administration was tied in with the MK Ultra program and the heavy abuse of presidential model slaves; even more so than the Clinton administration because two top mind control handlers in George Bush Sr. and Dick Cheney were at the helm running things in the administration and Reagan acted as their puppet. George Bush Sr. was openly touting the establishment of a “new world order” per his words while people were supposedly having the time of their lives in the 80s and 90s. The only difference between then and now is that now people are more aware to a certain degree of the corruption in government and the idea of a new world order system.
With that said, it leads us to look at Ecclesiastes 7:10 which states, “Say not thou, What is the cause that the former days were better than these? for thou dost not enquire wisely concerning this.” Another verse to add to this is Ecclesiastes 1:9 which states, “The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.” We use both of these verses because it speaks against that sentiment which is that things were somehow better during this time or that time. There is no such thing as a better time because the things that are happening now have been occurring since the beginning of time. Murder, thievery, trickery, and corruption have been taking place since the beginning of time. The nature of people and their envies, jealousies, acts of betrayal, gossiping, and lies were the same back then as it is now. The things occurring now with this “Great Work” have already been attempted and have occurred previously in the era of Babylon, Kemet, Greece, Rome, Persia, etc. The ideologies and philosophies in this current society has been passed down from the ancient times. The same forms of deception, propaganda, injustice, perversion and persecution of the righteous took place back then as it is taking place now. This is why the scriptures direct us to be led by faith and belief in the Most High and to not to store up treasures in this world. Not only are we not to store up physical treasures in this world, but we’re also not to store up emotional treasures in this world either; meaning becoming overly attached to people or our jobs or certain parts of this life. Our happiness cannot be dependent on a time period or what’s going on with society. Our happiness must come from within us and what we ought to have which is a spiritual connection to the Most High. We are truly happy when we humble ourselves and choose to love the Most High because it makes us less dependent and tethered to this world and its chicanery. When our hearts become dependent on things in society and in the world to be good, we leave our hearts in this world when it should be in spiritually higher places. This is why it is unwise when we ask why things were better back then than it was now because it wasn’t. The times back then were the same as it is now.
Final words is that it is fine to reminisce or think favorably upon certain experiences you had when you were growing up or in your youth but it can become an issue when you begin thinking that nothing bad was happening during that time that has created nostalgia for you because then that creates delusion which you could carry into other aspects of your life if you’re not careful. Delusion blinds us. We don’t want to be blind. We want to have clear vision; to have eyes to see and ears to hear. We need to be honest and realistic with ourselves and be grounded in the truth rather than shroud ourselves with delusional tales of this magical paradise of nostalgia that we tend to create for ourselves. Otherwise, we’ll be attacked from an angle which we weren’t looking at because we were blinded and steering into the wrong direction in contrast to focusing on how to keep ourselves emotionally independent from the shifts of society and elevating as people. With that said, that brings us to the end of this article.