RDP #83 – REMEMBER
Middle English: from Old French remembrer, from late Latin rememorari ‘call to mind,’ from re- (expressing intensive force) + Latin memor ‘mindful.’
Memory is elastic. You will remember the same incident that I do, but we will remember it differently. Why is that?
I think it’s based on what is more important to each individual. The reason a person cannot be found guilty based on the testimony of just one witness is that there is always more than one side to a story. If you are in an accident, the police officers will take each driver outside of hearing range of the other, and then they will look for anyone else who may have witnessed the accident.
If you ask a man to describe the gown his wife wore on their wedding day, he’d probably say, “Well, it was white. Uh, no sleeves? Wait, yeah, I think sleeves. Man, I can’t remember that, but I’ll never forget how she smiled at me when she walked down the aisle.” Note to brides: The dress is not for him. It’s for you, and your mother, and your closest friends; but mostly, it’s for you. Don’t let anyone talk you out of the one you love. That person won’t be wearing it. You will, and you want to feel beautiful on your wedding day. Go for the one YOU like, because he won’t remember anyway 🙂
To remember is to reinforce mindfully what you saw, heard, read, or learned. When I was a kid, we got drilled on the multiplication tables A LOT in third grade. And I can still remember them, even the nines that gave me so much trouble.
When I was even younger, we memorized the books of the Bible in order, using music to help us. I can still recite all 66, but sometimes I have to pull up the melody to help me 🙂
We remember traumatic things that may have happened to us years ago. They are still vivid in our minds, and can often lead to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). There are some people who think PTSD is a bunch of baloney. Don’t listen to them. They are self-styled experts on something about which they are sadly ignorant and prejudiced. If those folks could sit in my office with me for just one hour while I work with a veteran who has PTSD, I think it would help them to understand the reality of it.
If any of you had a loved one who is deep into Alzheimer’s, or is showing signs of other types of senility, you know that short-term memory is the first to go. They won’t remember whether or not they had breakfast on any given day, but they can describe the Thanksgiving feasts they enjoyed when they were kids.
Something else that speaks so well to an Alzheimer’s patient is music. The music they knew and loved when they were young adults will “wake up” the brain to memories long forgotten. It’s a wonderful thing to see. If you’re interested, you should read Musicophilia by Oliver Sacks, or you can go to You Tube and watch some amazing videos.
Memory. It’s a wonderful thing, sometimes a plague, sometimes surprising. Always unpredictable.