Monthly Archives: April 2012

Why last year is always better – “Κάθε πέρσι και καλύτερα”

There is a Greek saying that says “Κάθε πέρσι και καλύτερα” which in a literal, word-for-word sense would be translated to “every last year is better”. The meaning of this saying is that as years go by, things get worse and worse. Thus, the previous year is better than the current year which will be better than the next year, and so on and so forth.

This is certainly true in the current economic crises and most certainly in Greek, where things are quite bad. But this saying was not invented recently; it has been with us for many, many years. So its invention can certainly not be attributed to the current climate. So what is the source of this proverb? Is it simply a pessimistic approach to life that should be discarded? Or there is actual truth behind this?

Come to think of it, there are many other similar opinions that are expressed in a different way by many different people. I have heard many people say that they wish they could return to their teenage years, or even the childhood years, the years of innocence, where they could play all day and have fun. Is it the burden of work and responsibilities that pushes us to disfavor current reality and reminisce our early year? Well it certainly does play a part, but I would argue that most people would say that they preferred their early years than their adulthood, even if they are well endowed and don’t even need to work at all. Some might also go as far as to say that they would rather go back to the early years, where fun was just around the corner and emotions were true and strong.

I am going to use that last phrase and built an argument, saying that this aversion towards current reality and preference in the past is not just a pessimistic view on things and not localized only to some people or groups. It is a general wish that originates from the inner workings of the human mind and thus it is unavoidable to occur in all people, but of course in different intensity to each… And of course I am going to use Noesis Theory to prove it 🙂

In a few words, the “proof” is this: with years we build context and thus turn out-of-context experiences to in-context, which means that we have less signal getting into the brain and agitating the Driving Forces and creating Driving Pockets. And as you know, Driving Pockets are the emotional responses of the brain, which means that we have less & less opportunities to feel emotions (both good & bad). So every year that passes by, depending on how good we are in converting our experiences into knowledge and “context”, the less capable we become of experiencing new things and feeling intense emotions. Because the things that happen from then on are not new to us; they have a “been there, done that” sense and thus our reactions and emotional responses are smaller. We know how it feels when breaking up, we know how it feels when losing somebody, we know how it feels when failing or getting rejected, we know how it feels when going broke… In your first break-up, you might have been crying for a week. On your most recent one, you maybe just shrugged of your shoulders and moved on.

And it’s just the way it is. Your brain is built in a way to capitalize on any new experience and integrate its key points into its wirings. The next time you experience something similar, it is not that unexpected any more. You probably saw it coming. The third time, you already knew it was coming before it “hit” you and maybe  you managed to take action before. This quality of the brain is extremely useful for survival, but it is catastrophic for your happiness! Face it, we are not built for being happy!

So cherish your moments of happiness, because you will never get the same opportunity again. Be happy for today and make the most out of it. In a way, today is better than tomorrow, and although you will not avoid saying that “every last year was better”, but you might as well be able to complete the sentence with “and boy what fun did I have last year, indeed!”

%d bloggers like this: