Geneseo Republic - Geneseo, IL
You’re fooling yourself if you pine for the good old days without putting those memories in context
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By Pat Cunningham
May 19, 2013 5:26 p.m.

Stephanie Koontz, one of my favorite social historians, WARNS HERE about the potential pitfalls of nostalgia:

In personal life, the warm glow of nostalgia amplifies good memories and minimizes bad ones about experiences and relationships, encouraging us to revisit and renew our ties with friends and family. It always involves a little harmless self-deception, like forgetting the pain of childbirth.

In society at large, however, nostalgia can distort our understanding of the world in dangerous ways, making us needlessly negative about our current situation.


There’s nothing wrong with celebrating the good things in our past. But memories, like witnesses, ...

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