Wishing for the Good Old Days: An Act of Futility

“By the rivers of Babylon…”–Psalms 137:1

When all this corona panic pandemic hysteria and craziness is over, everything about our lives will be different. It may be that we’ll be using our thumbprints, retina scans, or tattoos to pay for purchases instead of dollar bills or credit cards. Who knows?

It’s funny, though, that every generation looks back on earlier times and remembers them as ‘the good old days’. My guess is that within a few short years, the people who are still alive will look back on the time just prior to the Corona outbreak (and the accompanying financial and economic breakdown) and wish they were back there. Just like the Jews did after they had been carried off to Babylon. Well, all right, they weren’t actually carried, they had to walk the entire distance. Any who couldn’t keep up were promptly dispatched or left to die by themselves, somewhere in the desert without pity.

Every generation blames the one before, as the song says. In this case, the coming generations will have ample reason to blame ours, that is, mine—the baby boomers, who thought nothing of borrowing trillions and trillions of dollars to finance a lifestyle which was unsustainable—and putting the burden of paying that unbearable debt squarely on the shoulders of their children and grandchildren. Oh, yes, the ones who were unlucky” enough to be born, not aborted, will have the grand pleasure of picking up the pieces from our selfish, irresponsible, immature, society and trying to make something out of it. They will have the opportunity to change the system in such a way so that something similar to what we are just beginning to experience will never, and I mean, never happen again. The only question is this. Will they remember what it was like and make the necessary adjustments or will they have to learn the lesson all over again. Time will tell.

Ah, yes! Nostalgia is a wonderful thing. It allows us the luxury of remembering a time when our lives were, at least in our minds, so much better. Our childhoods, adolescence, teen-age years, young adult-hood were clearly superior to what we are living with now. Heck, even the music we grew up with is better than what is being created and distributed today—if you can call it music. To one who listened to Classic Rock from the 60’s, it is impossible to have appreciation for the noise of today. And so on…

Yet, life goes on and the taste in music changes. So does economic thinking and I am willing to bet that an indebted life for the sake of keeping up with the Joneses will go out of style, although it will probably take years of intense hardship to convince people of that. It is far preferable to live within our ability to pay, even if that means that we do without, rather than mortgaging our future (and our children’s futures) so that we can live the good life today. It really will be a great day when that attitude has played itself out and we can all remember how good we had it before it was taken away.

Oh, and to make sure that it never happens again. This is the best thing we could leave our children.

“By the rivers of Babylon, There we sat down, Yeah, yeah, we wept, When we remembered Zion…” —Boney-M.

Note: Please understand that much of this has been written from a tongue-in-cheek perspective. Do not attempt to read more into it than is intended.