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The Good Old Days

Marlene Geiser

Posted on April 19, 2018 15:33

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We are predisposed to talking about "the good old days." One has to wonder whether we might be better off removing that concept from our thinking, and devote our time to looking at the now.

I have a problem. Why do we spend so much time talking about the good old days? The question is whether in fact they were always good? Perhaps looking back might provide the answer.

Undoubtedly, the world appeared to be a safer place. I've written about having been able to walk the streets of New York alone as a little girl, and that was so. I could see two movies back to back on Saturdays for twenty five cents, and go downtown in Manhattan where I lived, and see wonderful stage shows and movies that made you laugh and cry. OK, I admit that those were good things to remember. However, was it in reality such a perfect world?

If your skin was black, you were considered inferior. You were often relegated to living in the ghetto where people were forced to spend their days struggling to survive. Forget getting a good education. Such an education was available to the children who lived in middle and upper class areas, and specific people were considered low class citizens.

I was one of the more fortunate. My skin was the right color, and my parents could choose a place to live where life was potentially a book that could be opened at will. Opportunity was conferred upon a specific group, because of their race.

It's clear that nothing was perfect back then. Human beings devoted too much time to making war, as they had from the beginnings of human existence, and so many died repeating the same mistakes.

Children such as I heard of things like Jim Crow and lynching, but those remained other people's problems, even if we had parents who brought us up recognizing that "all men are created equal." My father who taught American History, never threw in the towel on this country. Sadly, many continued to close their eyes to the truth, and did nothing to make change.

I accepted the reality that although it was wrong, certain people were considered second class citizens. It was the way things were. Thankfully, the truth emerged in what I learned from him, and later on brought me into the civil rights movement which offered the opportunity to become involved in trying to affect the direction my world was taking.

It is vital that there soon comes a day when the time in which we now live will not be referred to as the good old days. If we permit the downward spiral our country is taking, not recognizing our mistakes, it will surely threaten the future that lies ahead.

The solution is in the hands of those young people who are capable of seeing the errors we are making. They have the power to remove the concept of the "good old days" from our vocabulary. It will be then when human beings are able to look back at the now in which we live, and see it for what it really is.

 

 

 

Marlene Geiser

Posted on April 19, 2018 15:33

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