My eyes are sweating when I see photos my school days with classmates, or when I see old cartoon and games online, that I used to play during childhood. I know that am not the only one who feels the same. A feeling that you experience when you open your window of time to perceive the pleasant past. Wanna join this nostalgia club? It is easy, just look at your old family photographs or few pages of your childhood diary that reflects your cuteness.
Most of you may be thinking, “What a pessimistic subheading!” But what to do; Nostalgia works like that. Nostalgia is like entering a beautiful dream world. Can we forget all those memories of our first crush/love? Never! We are never done living in this world of memories, wishing for eternity. Unfortunately, after remembering and rejoicing these fond memories, we are left with a certain sense of depression— a feeling of a lost paradise! Even if a person is born in a desert of Africa and later lives in meadows of Europe, his mind will take him back to his past. Maybe it is the tribal music or something else that connects him with the “yesterday”. Although if someone lives in the middle of luxuries, he will definitely have something precious that only exists in the past.
A force of dual nature
Nostalgia is a force of dual nature
- For pessimists— Nostalgia is a force of friction that resists our minds from traveling further to future. It is trying to tie us to the past as long as it can through beautiful memories. A person, especially a pessimist, loves to live in the golden cage of beautiful memories of his past. He may try his best to look forward to the future with positivity, but all he sees is a world contrary to his fond memories. So to resist accepting present reality, some people listen to old songs, looks at endless slides of old photos, visit places, and even use alcohol and drugs.
- For optimists— It is the force that propels us towards the future, to recreate the beautiful moments from the past. An optimist rebuilds his future from the ruins of his past. The love and care from parents and friends, the strength they acquired from past experiences etc. Nostalgia provides the blueprint of past to inspire and motivate—to build a brighter future.
A movie scene that comes to my mind when I write about nostalgia is from “IRON MAN”. When the heroine, Virginia ‘Pepper’ Potts, asks the hero Tony stark what to do with his old invention. (Movie quote from IMDB)
Virginia ‘Pepper’ Potts: [about Stark’s old arc reactor] What do you want me to do with this?
Tony Stark: That? Destroy it. Incinerate it.
Virginia ‘Pepper’ Potts: You don’t want to keep it?
Tony Stark: Pepper, I’ve been called many things. Nostalgic is not one of them.
But the heroine keeps the hero’s old invention and this saves the hero from death in the climax. Though the hero considers being nostalgic as a waste of time, it is the quality of being nostalgic that motivated him the most(memories of his father, his friend who died to save him etc).
Nostalgia is one of the qualities that make us humans. In this merciless world of egoistic people, nostalgia makes us grateful and humble. Nostalgia reminds us to never forget the way we came from and the people who were always with us to help during our bad times. Let the tears that arrive during nostalgic memories cleanse your mind and let the smile be a sign of gratitude for all the wonderful people in the past. 🙂