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Back to the Present and Future

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Back to the Present and Future

Anabell Xu, Staff Writer

As high schoolers, we are part of the generation known as Generation Z, preceded by Millennials and followed by Generation Alpha. While we still aren’t quite sure where to draw these generational lines, the general consensus is that Generation Z ended when 2011 came along, and Generation Alpha began.

Currently, there are over 20.8 million children under the age of seven on this planet, and the oldest of us here at AHS, those around eighteen years old, now have enough years behind them to remember the former status quo. Essentially, we’re old enough to remember what life was like “back then” and have someone to complain to about how horrible the status quo is. We have become old geezers.

The present seems completely and utterly miserable when compared to the past, especially with the barrage of horrific events we see every week on the news. For many, nothing would be better than a return to the present—a time with less stress, better times where we didn’t fear clicking on the news every day, a time where we could be kids without a fear in the world.

But the past isn’t as good as it may have seemed, according to Professor Ark Markman of Texas University. He argues that we make judgments about things through comparison: this cake isn’t good because you’ve had one that tasted better, this concert is amazing because the other ones sucked, etc.

Furthermore, the present seems more concrete than the past, with grades to get, pages to read, homework to agonize over. We don’t remember the mundane, everyday tasks, only the exciting or substantial memories. Of course, we do remember the horribly traumatic moments in our lives as well, but what’s crucial to realize is that many times our wish for happiness causes us to cherry-pick memories to compare to the status quo.

This distorted view of the past causes us to despise the present, see it as flawed, sometimes even irredeemable. We long for better times that may not have even existed, buy into the mentality that the world is growing worse and worse every day. And while it’s important to recognize the flaws in our society, this increasingly pessimistic worldview can bring about depression and anger instead of the passion required to actually make the world a better place.

The present may suck, I can agree. We have problems that we need to fix, such as global warming, gerrymandering, famines. But always viewing the past as superior to the present only hinders social progress, the progress that we need to improve society.

It’s time to stop looking backward. It’s time to bring to a halt the “back in my day” statements. It’s time for us, Generation Z, to create the positive mentality for the children of Generation Alpha to look up to.

Graphic Courtery of STORES.ORG

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Back to the Present and Future