Elizabeth Stuart, Hope College 2018
Reading through the essay Racism, Nationalism, and Nostalgia by J. Gray Sweeney causes me to wonder. In an essay that was written before I was born, many of the issues and controversies that were present then are still extremely present in our current society. There seems to be this desire and almost fantasy about the “perfect cowboy life”. There are movies, and books, (and really bad romance novels about the dreamy distant cowboy….not that I have read any of those) little kids dress up as cowboys and want to be them when they grow up. There is an entire culture built upon this made up fantasy that people have on the glory of the cowboy, and how wonderful their lives were.
I think this desire for people to look back and see the past as this idealized entity is something common in most humans. Besides the “cowboy dreams” other people look back to the Founding Fathers and believe that those were the perfect times, or they look to the Scottish Highland culture. Human kind in general always seems to be searching for something that is perfect and right, especcially in times of controvery and strife.
So what can we as a whole do to end this search for an Idealized past, and create a better future for ourselves in the now?