I had heard this on Vh1: Those who know the meaning of nostalgia are missing something and those who don’t are missing something too (I love the pun!). While Merriam-Webster describes it as: Pleasure and sadness that is caused by remembering something from the past and wishing that you could experience it again. But often the pleasure we get from remembering the happy events from the past, eventually, turns into sadness. This is because we know we cannot return there. Physics doesn’t allow time travel in the past. May be aliens could impart us that knowledge, if they exist and are more intelligent beings than us. Who am I kidding? It is not possible. Or is it? May be I am writing this article after time travelling from the future, who knows? All right, enough of scientific jokes, let’s get back to the topic now. I am here to tell you why nostalgia is evil.
Nostalgia is an inevitable part of our lives. All of us have experienced it. Even though, nostalgia in itself is not an emotion, it evokes hell lot of them. We fondly remember our childhood, our hometown, hangouts with our old friends, and many such events of our past, but only the happy and cheerful moments. We never feel nostalgic about the sad and tough times. We don’t want to go back in time to relive those times. But then, why should we feel nostalgic about the good times, too, in the present?
Remembering the happy moments of the past today takes away the present moment. Why is there a need to go back in those seemingly happier moments? Because we don’t like our present as the way it is. Our present is not as enjoyable as our past. If our present is better, we wouldn’t have to remember the past to be happy. When we have as good friends today as we used to have in our childhood, would we feel sad? No, because we would be happy today spending time with our new friends. If the city we live in today is as amazing as our hometown, would we feel the yearning to go back? No, because we would be happy exploring a new city and gaining new experiences.
All those people preaching about living in the present moment are absolutely right in saying so. Even though it is cliché, it is true. Nostalgia can only be curbed by being present here and now. It is in your interest not to experience nostalgia, only if you desire to be happy. If you and sadness gel well, go ahead live in the past, nostalgia is your friend. But I doubt this “you” exists, because everybody wants to be happy. So to enjoy life, it’s better to keep nostalgia at one-light-year distance (I had to include a metric which emphasized time and distance since we are discussing about the past. Astronomy pun, you get it, right!) Lecture is over, students. Go, have a nostalgia-free day!