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Do we view the past with rose tinted glasses?

A fondness for the past and the way things used to be is common with all ages and generations.  

Time has a way of softening memories and in contrast to our busy, difficult lives, looking back it can often feel like things were much simpler ‘back then’.

This pattern is actually supported by research – ageing brains allow negative memories to fade over time. This in turn leads to a distorted impression of how life was in their younger days.

Older adults also have the benefit of experience – it’s easier to keep negative experiences in perspective and take things in their stride.

In contrast, younger adults need to keep memories of both positive and negative information to help them navigate their working lives.

As a result, many believe we view the past with rose tinted glasses and allow it to influence decisions about the present and future.

Holding onto a notion of the past can often cause people to negatively view the present in contrast.

Today at Speakers Corner we’re asking you: do you believe we view the past with rose tinted glasses? And does it impact how we process what’s happening in the present and future?

Do we view the past with rose tinted glasses?

77 people have already voted, what's your opinion? Yes No

What are your views?

We'd love to hear your comments

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SueC62
14th Nov 2017
0
Thanks for voting!
I think people tend to but then they were younger, had better health, less responsibilities?

Personally, I don't see my past through rose tinted spectacles and maybe I'm not ageing (I wish) as I remember the negative things very clearly but as something that I've moved on from and will never return to.

Whilst there appear to be a lot of bad things happening in the world today, they were happening back then but we just didn't get to know about them (born in the 50s so only know of WWI & II from history.
Wilf
11th Nov 2017
3
Thanks for voting!
Yes of course...the summers were always hotter, the times were always better, people were friendlier. Well I see a lot of that here on Silversurfers with us all waxing lyrical about the 60s and 70s. The 70s were terrible! No work, strikes, terrible fashions, no technology, no taste in architecture or anything at all, the food was awful......apart from al;l that it was a great era to live in. No crime then? Right...I can remember getting beaten up by skinheads in Liverpool just because I was not a scouser...nowdays...good TV...good food...weathers ok...yep in 2030s when I look back it will seem like the 20teens were a fantastic time!
Yodama
10th Nov 2017
0
Thanks for voting!
Why not? Life was harsh at times, we seemed to be stronger and able to cope after the devastation and the aftermath of the war.
There was good and bad then and there is good and bad now.
. The most important thing to me in the past was the amount of freedom we had.
Taking pleasure and enjoying the simplest of things. Things we did which today would be looked at sternly by the all seeing eye of the government and its over-the -top and ridiculous laws. Big brother on steroids!
Scrumping apples today would have you arrested!

Living today is suffocating, rules and regulations. constant advice on how we must eat, act, speak, behave!
The encroachment of technology into every aspect of our lives, watching and checking on everything we do.
The cotton wool we are being wrapped in only serves to make us weaker.

I think we had the best of times, so yes, I do look on the past with rose tinted glasses. At the same time I am grateful for the benifits of the easier way of living today and have embraced the advantages of the demon called technology.

Maybe each generation looks on the past with rose tinted glasses.
GarryF
10th Nov 2017
1
Thanks for voting!
Of course we see it all through rose tinted glasses. Who can remember a rainy day when you could not go outside during the summer holiday or the pain of falling over and scrapping some part of your body. What about when you were not invited to some ones party and every body else you knew was. Think back yourself and you will remember the days that you were hurt or frustrated in some way but you have to make the effort to remember. All that come to mind when you first think about anything is the good times and that is the way it should be. Call it selective memory or what ever else you want to but what is the point of remembering the bad bits, unless it is to learn a lesson.
MeGreta
8th Nov 2017
3
Thanks for voting!
Are they rose tinted or just positive interpretations of incidents and epochs that consititute parts of our lives? Remember we also forget a lot, or in fact remember something completely different. And this is good for remaining hopeful. The most painful memories and incidents can become traumas, so I say, don't be too hard on the rose tinted view of things. We should just remember that those times are no longer today, so don't be disillusioned when younger people don't understand our reminiscing and don't rubbish now and the future. They too can become rosy.
viking
8th Nov 2017
3
Thanks for voting!
Unfortunately looking backwards and nostalgia are an English trait, and there is nothing we can do to change this. I have lost count of the number of "on the anniversary of......" that we see now.So please try to look forwards not backwards.
Lionel
9th Nov 2017
1
Thanks for voting!
Surely, Viking, a wise man takes things both old and new from his treasure chest.

To disregard the past and launch head long into a very uncertain future is a folly. We would be just repeating the mistakes of the past and that to our ultimate cost.

Better by far to see the promised new in the light of the old and then decide if we want to go down that road. But, that's New Testament wisdom, a most unpopular, and inconvenient source of wisdom.
Roof Top Crow
10th Nov 2017
1
Thanks for voting!
In your second paragraph you say the following:

“To disregard the past and launch headlong into a very uncertain future is a folly”

Lionel, pre the referendum you said that that leaving the EU would be good for the UK and you supported the view that leaving the EU would be simple. You put forward the view that the UK will have better future by being a non-member of the EU.

You did not agree with my view that leaving the EU would be very difficult. You did not agree with my view that the process of leaving the EU would take years to complete, it would be very expensive to do, and it would be chaotic politically and commercially. You did not agree with my view that by leaving the EU the UK would face a very uncertain future.

Everything I said would happen, is now happening. The Brexit vote has plunged the UK headlong into political chaos, commercial chaos and years of massive expense as legislation is redrawn. Worse than all of that is the reality that the UK is now facing a very uncertain future.

I refer again to your second paragraph and I quote again; “To disregard the past and launch headlong into a very uncertain future is a folly”

I get the feeling that you are regretting the result of the referendum.
Lionel
10th Nov 2017
2
Thanks for voting!
Hello Rooftop, it's good to hear from you as always.

Now let's cut to the meat of the matter. You are referencing my post in the light of this present dilemma, which came to be expected, given the calibre of people now inhabiting high office. Yet, if we go back to 1972 the events of that year puts my post in very sharp focus.

Our government, Heath and his cabinet, sold parliament a lie. They sold the European Communities Act on the basis of a trade agreement, the while knowing there were far deeper ramifications for this nation. They trampled over Magna Carta, the Bill of Rights and even removed the Queen as Head of State, because we are no longer a self governing State. Thus, the entire EU project in the UK, let's give these islands their historic name, Great Britain, is predicated on a raft of lies.

I've said before, nothing founded on a lie will prosper.

Had dissident voices been heard, had we asked the question, who is in charge of the 'Common Market?' and then reflected on that country's history of massive destruction and killing within Europe, we Brits might have thought again.

But, as so often happens, reason, rationale and truth do not prevail. Damnable lies and deceit did.

The fact we are in a mess is down to Heath and his cabinet. We are unpicking 45 years of deceit in government.

I posted during our Referendum debate that there would be some pain, some discomfort, in the aftermath of that referendum. We Brits can take it, although I'm not sure about others now on these islands.

Had we, in 1972, looked back, and judged the then present in the light of the recent past, the outcome might have been very different. The generation who fought in WW2 were alive in signifiant numbers. Had that country then been exposed as Reich building I doubt the outcome would be EU membership.

Back in 1972 business enterprise saw huge profits - beggar the workers, just go for profit. Businessmen did beggar the workers, and still do. But Rooftop, as you have pointed out in a different context, times change. Now there's a truth.

Rooftop, don't again detect xenophobia in my writing; I'm a realist, not looking through rose tinted spectacles of profit. I write what is as history will agree.
Roof Top Crow
12th Nov 2017
0
Thanks for voting!
Our conversation was triggered by the question from Silversurfers “Do we see the past with rose tinted glasses”. I think you are doing just that.

In 1973 the UK was the sick man of Europe. We were the trailing behind the 3 strongest members of the EC. The UK growth rate in the previous 10 years was 60% against a 95% growth rate in Italy, France, and Germany.

The UK was financially destitute, with a manufacturing industry trapped in the past and a failing export industry. We had to join the EC to be able to save the UK way of life. A way of life whose citizens put a huge value on the NHS, our military services, our educational system, our civil service and much more.

All of these services need money, and the only way to generate money is tax revenue from commerce and employment. By 1973 tax revenues were falling year on year.

Joining the EU has been a great success for the UK. By 2013 the UK had become the second wealthiest member of the EU and the 5th wealthiest country in the world.

But importantly the creation of what is now the EU was not based on money, it was based on peace in Europe. Its creation followed a 30 year period that included two world wars as well as massive unemployment and civil unrest throughout Europe. The open borders structure of free movement, interconnected businesses, and tariff-free trade has created peace in Europe. A period of peace that has lasted 72 years.

Historical and social structures in the UK such as the Magna Carter, Parliamentary Democracy, and the Monarchy has not been changed been changed by our EU membership. Lionel, you are just using them to confuse and obscure your response.

The chaotic mess the UK is in now has nothing to do with Edward Heath. It has all to do with weakness in leaders such as Cameron and May.

Regrettably, opportunists and malicious fantasists such as Farage and Boris have used this weakness in Government as a chance to massage their egos without taking any responsibility for the outcome of what they have done.

Farage and Boris are superb orators. Very regrettably 37% of the UK voting population put on their rose-tinted glasses and rose-tinted ears and listened. They believed the fantasy story Farage and Boris told us about our wonderful past and the sunny uplands of a future outside of the EU.

Sadly all the UK has done, is voted to make us all much poorer. It is very unfortunate that the pain the UK will experience as non-members of the EU will be felt most by those who are already struggling on a day to day basis. The other end of society will not experience any kind of pain. The vast majority in the middle will be discomforted and grumpy but they will no doubt survive with a lower quality of life.
Lionel
6 days ago
1
Thanks for voting!
Rooftop, I'm not going to argue every point you made, but suffice to say much of it is historically inaccurate and not germane to my point. If there is a case of rose tinted spectacles then it is you who wear them.

I say again the EU beginning with the Iron and Steel Community, was, and is now, founded in an utter lie, a gross deceit. Again, nothing predicated in a lie or deceit will prosper. One day that lie will be exposed and the house of cards come down.

If you care to open a private chat I'll share just a few of my reasons for being pedantic. The source of those reasons was then a very senior civil servant working with Heath.
Roof Top Crow
6 days ago
1
Thanks for voting!
Lionel, we will always have differing views on the history you and I have experienced in the UK, and because of that, we enjoy our written exchanges. Looking and talking about our history is a safe place for you and me to do our thinking, as it will not change anything.

The future is not the same. I have tried looking at the future through my rose tinted glasses and I have tried looking at the future through my clear and untinted glasses.

Looking through both sets of glasses, the future looks very challenging and uncertain.

Like many people, I do not feel confident that our politicians are skilled enough or clever enough to be able to successfully manage the future of the UK.
Talk soon RTC.
Lionel
5 days ago
0
Thanks for voting!
Rooftop, for the second, or maybe it is the third time, we agree.

We look at matters with different eyes. Yours are pragmatic, financial and political, as seen from the Westminster bubble. Mine, as you pointed out some months ago, are philosophical, and I would add tempered and informed by the Bible, six thousand years of human history in one book. I'm possessed of fifty years of a study of that book. It tells me more about humanity than anything else could.

Would that in these times the pragmatic could meet the philosophical and forge an alliance. That would be a very powerful alliance, sufficient to move mountains.

Yes, the future looks challenging and uncertain. Our headline politicians are weak - formed without any philosophy of life. They are, for the most part, self seeking and without regard to their wider, constitutional, responsibilities and duties.

None the less, the British people, of whom after seven generations I think I may be able to claim I am one, have a ferocious tenacity; an ability to survive whilst hoping for better in the near future. I believe that tenacity will win the day.

Yes, we will talk soon. Again, my deepest respect to you Rooftop. We may disagree but at many levels I admire you and do look forward to hearing from you.
JudiJ
8th Nov 2017
2
Thanks for voting!
I live in the past but I don't think its with rose tinted specs. There were good and bad times, as with everyone, but I think when we are young we feel things with much more passion and a sense of discovery. Unfortunately as we get older we become more cynical and jaded because of life's experiences, so the good things that happened in the past will always be remembered with that same passion. I.e 'first love' .
NorfolkBroad
8th Nov 2017
2
Thanks for voting!
With a lot of childhood memories we do view the past through rose tinted glasses. We remember playing in the street and all the funny sayings our mother's used to use but we forget how cold we were in a bedroom devoid of any heat and that it used to rain during the 6-weeks summer holiday from school. Of course we would not view genuine hardships and pain lightly; but even with these time has a way of softening the edges. Maybe viewing anything with rose tinted glasses is a self-preservation instinct? After all, if we really believed that our schooldays were the 'best days of our life' we would give up trying to improve our lot because there would be no point.
Lionel
7th Nov 2017
3
Thanks for voting!
No, of course we don't! These 'researchers' must be wet behind the ears!

This is just the sort of remark I expect to hear from my step grand children and other step family. But it's just not true.

Does our view of the past cause us to negatively view the present? No, of course not. We are putting in the balance what was on one side and what is on the other. The present is always found wanting.

What we are doing is sounding a warning note to the odd one who will hear us that you gone up the wrong road, think again. Most of us have seen the better road of our youth, but few have taken it. This type of nostalgia is regret. We may not pass our regret onto our children and grand children. But it does behove us to point out the error of their proposed ways.

Let's forget researchers - just don't feed them - and follow our own hearts.

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