I really miss those days of old. Call it becoming old fashioned, call it being stuck in the past, call it a result of growing old, or call it whatever you want. All I know is that as I continue to navigate these difficult COVID-19 times, I find myself fondly reminiscing of all the things that once were the norm in my younger years, that are now becoming something of the past, or already have become just that, long before this pandemic even came about.
Things like when there were no phones or tablets or video consoles to constantly glance down at when eating our meals together, where instead our only choice was to be social with each other and connect much deeper from places like our heart.
Things like when one game after another was played outside until the sun finally set, where some of which never even had an official name until we gave it one. Games where we kicked a can, and ran and hid, or ones where we sought to win over some type of flag. Games that definitely brought us much closer together, as we interacted in person with each other, rather than through headsets on video consoles for hours on end.
Things like when there were regular block parties or progressive dinners at each other’s homes, where we’d get to know our neighbors so much better, instead of living on streets where we hardly know anyone, other than through an occasional wave or hello from a distance.
Things like when texting wasn’t a thing, when people totally desired to pick up the phone to hear a friendly and caring voice on the other end, where tears got shared on one side or both, instead of simply sending heart, sad face, or countless other emojis that are totally void of feeling any real connection and emotion.
Things like when our self-esteem was something we worked on within ourselves and came from a personal achievement that had nothing to do with someone else’s approval, instead of basing it upon social media, where our self-esteem comes from the number of likes we get to some posting or how many friends we achieve in connecting to an online profile.
Things like when people relied more on feeling better by helping others and doing community service, instead of relying upon drugs and medications to make it happen, like so many are starting to do these days.
Things like when happy birthday greetings were done more through personalized cards, special phone calls, and surprise visits, rather than sending a few words through a quick text message or social media posting.
Things like when people used to go on hot summer nights to places like drive-ins, roller skating rinks, and bowling alleys to interact with each other, rather than sitting at home and getting drunk and high on their front porches.
Things like when people really cared about showing their love and kindness to each other, when the desire to be more personal was a typical thing, when people liked giving warm hugs and firm handshakes, even to strangers, rather than avoiding all tokens of closeness more than not.
So yes, I find myself really missing those days of old, especially as of late, and often wonder now if this pandemic will permanently change our landscape to one where we never return to times of personal closeness with others being the norm. Closeness that emanates from the heart and soul through interpersonal connection, one that Christ himself demonstrated time and time again, even when sickness was all around him.
To truly heal our world and all this sickness within it, maybe what it needs a lot more of right now is connection, rather than disconnection, closeness rather than distance, and time spent together, rather than apart. Three things I remember quite fondly being present a lot more so in our past than our present, leaving me with far too many feelings of really missing those days of old…
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson