“Who Owns Your Nostalgia?”
This question was posed to me this weekend by a friend (and huge inspiration of mine), J. Nichols when I bumped into him at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, where we were both presenting at Ocean Plastic Pollution Summit. Don’t worry, it also gave me–and two of my most savvy and insightful friends–an impregnable pause.
“Who could own my nostalgia?” Apple? My grandmother? Bruce Springsteen…Fleetwood Mac? J. Nichols mentioned he often asks this question of kids and I immediately thought “Facebook”….YIKES!
We all eventually had the realization that WE wanted to be the owners of our nostalgia. but “J,” with his PhD in neuroscience, presented a huge challenge…companies pour tons of money into researching how to access the same synapses that serve as the highway to our nostalgic memories in order to get us to feed it with their products. His poignant example: Coca Cola. What’s more nostalgic than Christmas and polar bears?
You see, nostalgia is derived from the Greek compound, nóstos, meaning “homecoming,” and álgos, meaning “ache.” Nostalgia is just that…a longing for the past. Often a past that is more idyllic in our minds than actuality.
So what do you want your nostalgia to be made of? Plastic, text messages and technology? We all agreed that we want it to be more along the lines of nature, adventure, good music, and family.
It was fitting that all of us had gathered there at the summit–to get our BlueMinds on. The four of us are extremely nostalgic for the ocean–the blue ocean–that gives us life and brought us such joy in our childhood. Which is why we spend our time and energy trying to hold on to that memory–often times fighting at the last chance to have it back.
So my question for you is: “What do you want to be nostalgic about?” Get out there and OWN it!