Soggy Biscuit Past Ideas

“…memories have a way of changing on us. Souring or sweetening over time…you can’t taste a memory without tainting it with who you have become….We always pretend the ideals and culture of the past have aged like wine, but in truth, the ideas of the past tend to age more like biscuits. They simply get stale.”

Brandon Sanderson – Tress of the Emerald Sea

This idea struck me. A gem from an unexpected source.

As we change with time and experience, so does our imperfect perception of the past change. The more time goes on, the more we impact our recollection. We typically diverge towards a more pleasant experience. Keeping the highlights reel. Perhaps a strong emphasis on the lowlights for contrast. The reality is that there was a lot of imperfect space in between.

We remember simpler and easier times. We remember better ideas that formed the basis of our lives. If we think back hard, we can recognise that this was often not the case. Sure snippets were, but not much more. The rest is pretty stale.

It’s important, particularly for past-focused people, not to get caught ruminating on a warped version of a nostalgic past. A fixation on what was perceived as better can cause us to miss out on what is beautiful in the present.

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