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Nostalgia traps progress

The majority of Brig readers are leaving adolescence and entering into adulthood. If you were born in the 90s, we share a trait which seems to be a poison of growing up: nostalgia.

In itself, the feeling is but a bittersweet reminiscence of all the things we once thought eternal, now gone with age and progress. Like any feeling, it only has the power the beholder gives it.

Comfort can be a strong component of it, thinking how much easier things were and how peaceful times were. “Back then,” things fit into boxes and whatever didn’t work was arranged by parents like an iron smooths over a fold on a clean shirt.

Today, as adults, it is up to us to us to clear up whatever mess we are presented with, and sorting things into their appropriate boxes. With that responsibility comes the power of understanding and rising above others.

As we watch them ask for help, jealousy boils up in our stomachs that assistance is granted and these people move forward. They made the effort necessary to grow and it seems they’ve left us behind.

From years of perpetual comfort, we had indulged in a form of self-righteousness, which has no place in modern politics. Holocaust denier David Irving, currently based in Inverness, is living proof of this.

After decades of progress, moving past degrading stereotypes and accepting the new despite senior reluctance, it seems politicians have given nostalgia its very own seat in parliament; we must undo this.

Let the efforts of the past not be hindered by extremism. Image: Socialist Worker

Minorities are offered a helping hand to provide them with well-deserved positions in the workplace, to help them feel secure in a neighbourhood, to work through the problems they have internalised.

This is not our coddling a generation of “trigger warnings” and sugar-coating. Instead, it is those with power working to right the wrongs of those before us.

Indeed, the times our grandparents may cherish of their communities and traditions, feel repressive and exclusive to those not straight, white, or male. Their simple, systematic educational structures would be disastrous for the generation following ours.

Technology may be perceived as the reality of machines taking over humanity and turning our brains to a substance no more powerful than cream, but their role in society is only rooting itself deeper.

Because of this, it is important to adapt our social infrastructures; impressionable young people will not put their mobile phones away because of a rule implemented by authorities they already deem to be out of touch with what they are experiencing.

Youths are growing up with the ideas we give them, elders can only learn from us if we let them reach out. Communication is a vital tool to a functional society, and it is one we have cast aside for division and political polarisation.

Nostalgia must be transformed into a will to progress together, albeit with varying priorities. Those in a position of comfort could broaden their minds, if only one provides them with a fresh perspective on current issues.

That is our role.

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