Memory and Remembrance

Memory and the remembrance of things past is a unique capacity that humans share. We can be dismissive of memory because we are overly familiar with it. The extraordinary capacity we have as humans to remember our past or remember the narrated stories of our lives is extraordinary. Memory is an incredible resource which colours the blank canvas of our lives as we age. Memory has a practical purpose as well. Its about having a useful and available library in our heads so we will avoid the things that harm us or cause us pain. There are however problems with using or misusing memory.

We may neglect our memories. We can be so busy and focused on the future or the present that we pay no attention to the past or to our memories. That is to say, there is no reflection what so ever on ones own past, either its mistakes or its achievements or others behaviours whether good or bad. This can come out of pure laziness. It can also flow from a view that the past and its memories have no relevance.

The other problem with memory is that people can over use it. They are forever in the library. They never leave. Its unhealthy. Their thoughts are never in the present or planning for future events but concreted into the memories of the past. A continual recycling of the same dark memory or series of images and stories and events occurs time after time. The regurgitation of failures and select, past conversations can lead to the procrastination and hopelessness and subtle despair that leads to mental paralysis or surrender to fantasy. As benign as that sounds, it can lock people into a barbed wired entrapment for years.