You can find out more about this in “Factfulness,” a book by Hans Rosling, a Swedish professor of global health. This column is almost always about football and nutrition, and these are also areas where subjective perceptions don’t always match up with reality. Or wishes and reality! Here, too, we often hear the phrase that things were supposedly better in the past. Take food. These days, people have a lot of expectations that didn’t matter in the past: They feel that food should not only fill you up, but also should taste good, look cool, be healthy and be produced sustainably. Objectively speaking, food today is certainly better and more diverse than it used to be – but do we always feel that way?
“Sometimes, too many choices can be confusing.”
Marco Bode, European Football Champion
It is the same with football. The stadiums are safer and more modern, sports media is much more professional, players score more goals and the game has become more appealing. Nevertheless, we occasionally feel as though it used to be more fun, more exciting and that more “guys” were playing than now! The truth is more likely that sometimes, our memories play tricks on us, and we overvalue positive memories and tend to forget negative experiences. On the other hand, our subjective perceptions are not entirely wrong. Things are less fair in some areas of football. Money has become too important and that has made contests more predictable. And when it comes to food, too, more and more options and possibilities do not always lead to greater satisfaction. Sometimes, too many choices can be confusing and frightening. Less is sometimes more. Nevertheless, we should not fool ourselves that the past is the goal we should be striving for, but rather decide as rationally as possible how we really want to live.