The Head's Tales: Everything Old is New Again

Depending on your age, you might remember the lyrics from the composer – Peter Allan who stated:  “No need to remember when, 'cause everything old is new again.”  If this is going back too far, how about the Bare Naked Ladies and their song entitled:  “Everything Old is New Again.”  These thoughts rang true to me last week when a group of Junior School student leaders were presenting some new playground games to the girls.  They came forward and introduced the following games:

Hop Scotch
Four Square/Square Ball
Double Dutch
Chinese Skipping

I chuckled as they proudly explained the rules of these games and provided a demonstration.  They then went on to say that they would be working with the girls during break times to help them stay active.   Little did they know that these were the same games that their parents and grandparents played on the school grounds when they were much younger. This brought back fond memories and personal associations of playing happily with my friends and enjoying healthy competition. I have to admit, I was even eager to demonstrate my “four square” skills, as I was the champion among my peers when I was a child!

In reflecting on how the past is regularly being reinvented in a new context   (nostalgic recreations of past designs, updating of past trends, the resurgence of past themes and the transformation of the classics), I have come to realize that it is the convergence of past and present experiences that bond the old and the new and build the connection from one generation to the next. Even in marketing, the importance of community, "buy local" and word of mouth endorsements trump glitzy advertising campaigns with impersonal promises. There is even greater emphasis on the “art of conversation” that seems a rarity in the busy and impersonal texting world in which we live.

In business we are reminded of the saying: “Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it” (George Santayana). I would like to balance this with the following,  “The charm of history and its enigmatic lesson consist in the fact that  from age to age, nothing changes and yet everything is completely different” (Aldous Huxley).   We certainly live in interesting times and I suspect that we will likely return to past experiences once again in the future.

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