Nostalgia is a wonderful thing. Think about it – what else can make you look back on the worst of times with something close to fondness? What else can give those past memories, good bad or ugly, that bitter-sweet taste, that subtle rose tint? It is a strange thing, nostalgia, and stranger still what it does to us, making us long for a past that we cannot go back to, and no matter how hard we try to recreate that past in the present it’s never quite the same.
But maybe that’s all part of the beauty of nostalgia. The past would not be the past if we could so easily recreate it; that’s what memories are for. We remember the bad so we do not make the same mistakes, and so we can try to keep others from making our mistakes. Our scars serve as the necessary reminder. We remember the good in our lives too, and if they do nothing else these memories remind us that there is joy in living. They give us a reason to smile, and they may make us want to put smiles on the faces of others.
Nostalgia, for all its charm, is something we do not want to indulge too much in. It is a dangerous thing to dwell on the past. We should remember it but not live in it, for being consumed with a past that we cannot change or relive will only keep us from seeing all the beauty that the future holds for us. Life carries on and so should we, with our memories – pleasant or otherwise – serving not as dead weight, but as the spur that will keep us going strong.