C’est toujours l’âge d’or.

…it is always The Golden Age.

The Renaissance, enlightenment, the Golden Age… they’re all nostalgic terms for a time in history that folks feel was better, more aware, more prosperous.

The Renaissance was the period from the 14th to the 17th century, regarded as the cultural bridge between the Middle Ages and modern history. It was during that time that there were amazing advances made in science, art, even human thought.

The Age of Enlightenment, an intellectual movement which dominated the world of ideas, ncluded a range of ideas centered on reason as the primary source of authority and legitimacy, and came to advance ideals like liberty, progress, tolerance, fraternity, constitutional government, and separation of church and state.

People in the 1920s looked back on that period as a Golden Age. Folks in 1960s looked back on the World War 2 era with the same sentimentality. Many now view he 20s with awe for its inhabitants’ freedom of will and thought. We look back with pride on the times that ideas, like liberty, were important enough for people to fight for. We look at amazing advances in industry, which brought outstanding prosperity, and are humbled.

The term Golden Age comes from Greek legend and refers to the first in a sequence of four or five Ages of Man, in which the Golden Age is first, followed in sequence, by the Silver, Bronze, Heroic, and then the Iron, which is a period of decline, sometimes followed by the Leaden Age.

By definition, one is never in the Golden Age.

We never know that we are in the Golden Age. It’s categorized as such ex post facto.

In the post ‘Create… the Fire Will Come‘, I wrote:

We simply have to live in pursuit of our passions, cultivate our sparks, and let things catch fire.

We can’t wait for something great to happen to signal that we are living in a great time. It’s up to us to make it great.

F. Scott Fitzgerald didn’t sit back and wait for something to make him write The Great Gatsby. He just wanted to write, to unleash his soul through the page. Salvador Dali didn’t have to know he was living in a special time for creators when he painted The Persistence of Memory. He had inspiration, and he let it move him. Copernicus didn’t know he would change the course of human thought. He just saw something curious and explored it.

You never know if you never try.

We can’t sit back and wait to be in a splendiferous time. It doesn’t just happen. It is always The Golden Age… if we make it so.