Sometimes, it seems like you can’t go anywhere without meeting at least one person who is quick to shake their head and utter some variation of, “It’s not like it used to be around here.”
“This town is not like used to be.”
“This school is not like it used to be.”
“This company is not like it used to be.”
And they never mean it in a good way. They never mean, “It’s not like it used to be around here…now it’s way better!”
Instead, what they’re telling you is that the so-called “Good Old Days” are long gone.
Regarding this tendency to see the past through rose-colored glasses, Kurt Vonnegut said: “There have never been any ‘Good Old Days.’ There have just been days.”
That’s a great quote, but I’ve got an even better one. Someone once said to me, “The worst thing about this town are all the people who complain about it.” I love that line, not only for its circular irony, but also because it’s usually true of just about anywhere and anything: a town; a school; a company. The complainers usually are the worst aspect. Those who feed off of negativity, criticizing the efforts of others without offering ideas of their own.
Of course, the best thing about any organization are those who are willing to roll up their sleeves and get things done. The people with real ideas, who want to make things better, who say, “Let me know what I can do to help you,” and who mean it when they say it.