Things Past

What this post is discussing is related to (though not quite the same) as something I’ve thought about a lot in the last few years — and that is how very readily people forget events and stats of affairs that occurred in their own lifetimes.

They remembered when people could easily find a local job if they wanted one, even without a staggeringly expensive degree and massive debt. When you didn’t have to move far away from your family if you didn’t want to. When you could afford to raise family on a single breadwinner’s salary. When you could buy a house in your 20s. A time when there weren’t quite so many boarded up storefronts, panhandlers, food banks, or people living in their cars. When small local businesses thrived instead of just Wal-Mart and Amazon. They told these stories to their children as if they were describing some sort of long-vanished and forgotten culture, even though it had existed within their own lifetimes.

This is puzzling to me. Extremely so. I’m 44, and I recall things and ways we used to be that people who were also there claim “never happened.” I know they are wrong, very much so, but how do people forget so much so easily? I need to understand this and just don’t.