Did It Really Ruin Your Childhood?

George Lucas, creator of the "Star Wars" and "Indian Jones", is a common target of people who "had their childhood ruined."

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George Lucas, creator of the "Star Wars" and "Indian Jones", is a common target of people who "had their childhood ruined."
George Lucas, creator of the “Star Wars” and “Indian Jones” sagas, is a common target of people who “had their childhood ruined.”

Jon Kovach Jr. | Staff Writer

Discontinuing a television program, remaking a movie, creating sequels, or replacing actors for the same character are all forms of change. Changing our childhood memories can really tug on our heartstrings and memorable attachments. But do these changes actually matter?

They may not have ruined your childhood but using the term “ruin” is a common way that we express disappointment for change. The reality isn’t that our childhood has been ruined, but perhaps the memories we enjoyed have been disturbed. Luckily for us, the year is 2015 and those memories aren’t lost, because we have the ability to watch, record, stream, or download anything we can fathom. Consequently, we can continue to enjoy those memories at any time.

Changing those memories may not ruin our childhoods, but reviewing these TV programs or movies can certainly spoil our memories, because they may not be as entertaining and enjoyable as we remember.

Many Millennials remember watching television classics like Recess, Hey Arnold, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Pokémon, Boy Meets World and more. Though Recess and Hey Arnold have since been discontinued, Power Rangers Dino Charge, Pokémon XY, and Girl Meets World are still on the air.

There were also the memorable films including Dumb and Dumber, The Sandlot, Home Alone, Jurassic Park, and The Terminator. All of these films have had some sort of a sequel. Dumb and Dumberer and Dumb and Dumber To were just plain dumb. No one remembers the Sandlot sequel. Home Alone and Jurassic Park sequels only improved the story. And the approaching Terminator: Genisys will once again remind us of the indestructibility of Governor Schwarzenegger, but will definitely not go back in time and traumatize us.

Recently publicized sequels and reboots of Star Wars, Jurassic Park, and Cinderella aren’t meant to ruin any memory of their predecessors. These additional films will only enhance your childhood experiences, making the series more enjoyable by providing context, or strengthen your predilections, toward the original films. They were not created to detract from your childhood memories.

In the 1994 Disney original animated feature The Lion King, Rafiki (the Baboon) knocks Simba over the head with a walking stick. The prophetic dialogue in this scene concurs that change is inescapable and the past is unchangeable.

Simba: Ouch, what was that for?

Rafiki replies: It doesn’t matter, it is in the past.

Simba: Yeah, but it still hurts.

Rafiki: Yes, the past can hurt, but you can either run from it or learn from it.

Although we will still have feelings from the past, including our sweet memories of TV shows and movies, the root of the issue is that we as people are uncomfortable with change.

A Bill Nye the Science Guy 100th episode throwback reminds us of Newton’s First Law: that an object at rest will remain at rest unless acted upon by an outside force. Change and inertia relate to our precious memories because they enable us to move on instead of blaming change on the destruction of our childhood recollections.

“Ruining your childhood” is theoretically unattainable when we consider the access to digital and visual resources available today because, they are still here for our viewing. Some events can actually spoil and devastate your childhood memories more than programs and films, such as parents moving out of your childhood home, getting divorced, or an estranged relationship with a loved one. Those will tug on our heartstrings a little more than a television program or movie, but they still do not have the influence to ruin a physical memory or event that has taken place in the past.

Neal A. Anderson, in his commencement address at LDS Business College, recently presented an alternative avenue to the Dead Poet Society’s theme of “carpe diem.” He shared an alternative insight expressing the words “amplectere diem” which means “embrace the day”. Embrace change, additions, enhancements, and progression. These will not remove our childhood memories and they will not ruin what we have already experienced. The past is unchangeable.

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