I was recently reading an article lauding the benefits of nostalgia. According to a recent study finds that nostalgia can "counteract loneliness, boredom, and makes people more generous to strangers and more tolerant of outsiders." People even use nostalgia, or recounting a past experience on cold days in order to feel warmer. This is especially interesting since it has often been thought to be a mental disorder related to depression. On a broader scale we're often warned of the danger of "Golden Age" thinking and that a focus on the past will prevent progression not just in our own lives but also in the development of science, technology--just general societal progression. I still hold that Golden Age thinking of idolizing past generations is hugely problematic as we tend to erase so many significant issues that made the past unbearable for many. Certainly it would be wonderful to live in the Renaissance if you weren't born into servitude. So when nostalgia is referred to as a potentially helpful experience it is important to note that it means your own memories, rather than nostalgia for another time you didn't even experience firsthand. It is through the recollection of past positive experiences that motivation to improve present and future is found.
Anyway, all of these thoughts of nostalgia are tied to my dress today--retro in silhouette and featuring the print of old-fashined circus performers and tattooed men. It's so perfectly in-tune with the resurgence of novelty prints; the novelty print itself being a vintage classic now found in a number of modern incarnations, a trend once again based in the past. I think one of the positives of a less negative view of nostalgia is the acceptance of repetition--as the saying goes "nothing original remains, everything has already been done." However, if instead of being debilitated by this but rather accept it and focus on reinvention we make actual progress. Why can't we nod to the past and wink at the future?


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