Somewhere between Nostalgia and Utopia

Abhishek Paul
2 min readAug 29, 2018

A college reunion, a colleague’s blog and a question about my favourite Pink Floyd song.

The common thread was a growing tendency to slip into nostalgia — thinking how good and simple things were back then. The pernicious (I wanted to use this word for a long time) aspect of this is the added tendency to complain / discount today’s experiences.

Left to myself I tend to slip in between the glorified past or the ideal future. I have to consciously tell myself to appreciate the present — to look into my daughter’s eyes and listen deeply to her as she tells me why she’s scared to watch “Beauty and the Beast”. To listen to my wife as she tells me what happened in her day, to look, really look at the people who I interact with (or just come across) on a daily basis and acknowledge them rather than look at them as either a means or obstacle or worse, unnecessary to my ends. This happens far too often and naturally.

I read somewhere that it’s because we have a tendency to treat people as objects, that only our needs / issues tend to dominate our thoughts. Others matter only as much as they overlap with our priorities.

I don’t think I was this way growing up. I hope I’m not like this when I’m old. But neither of these matter, because I know I have this tendency today and today is all I can change.

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