This post was inspired by the novel J written by Howard Jacobson about a world where collective memory has vanished and the past is a dangerous country not to be talked about or visited. Join From Left to Write on November 20th as we discuss J. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

It is wonderful to know that life is important and to take steps to remember it. Some memories are collective, they are shared by groups of people, perhaps even races of people. Other memories are private, solitary things. Both kinds of memories are important. Memories are important because they give us roots and when we save them we give our life limbs and branches and the tree of our life grows.

Memory is a precious thing. It is a treasure more valuable than gold, platinum or precious jewels. It is important to keep track of events that happen in our lives and to remember them. Almost everyone has heard the expression about those who forget history being doomed to repeat it. There may be some truth in that expression. More important is the fact that those who forget the past do not learn lessons, cannot teach lessons to others and life is lessened with a lack of memories.

Our memories are the branches and leaves on our tree of life.
Our memories are the branches and leaves on our tree of life.

 

If you doubt how important memories are, how precious they are, look at families where a person has Alzheimer’s disease. Spouses and children are devastated when a loved one no longer remembers them.  When a husband forgets his wife’s birthday or wedding anniversary, sadness follows. When a mother forgets a child’s favorite snack at the supermarket, tears follow. These are real-life examples that are familiar or understood by most people and show the importance and value of memory.

In days long gone by, people created memory palaces. Memory palaces are places or a series of places in one’s mind where information is stored so it can be accessed and used it later.  These are good tools for storing memories and that is why this technique has been used for centuries. However, memory palaces are solo, solitary places. If you want your memories to last and you want to share them with others and to pass them down to your children and your children’s children, you must get your memories into a tangible format that can be shared.

There are some things I hope I remember forever:

  • the first time I saw my husband
  • the joy I felt when was 19 and got glasses for the first time
  • the way my husband smiled when I told him I would, in fact, do him the honor of becoming his wife
  • the overwhelming euphoria when I found out I was pregnant the first time (then the second, third and fourth)
  • celebrating “woman’s day” with my oldest daughter
  • the relief I felt when my big twin recovered from injuries she suffered in a car accident
  • the satisfaction I felt when my son told me he was proud of the work I do

 

Take time to remember and to treasure the idea or memory. Write down things you want to remember. It doesn’t matter if you use old-fashioned pen and paper or your smartphone. The medium does not matter. What matters is that you must start making an effort to save, protect and treasure memories of what is going on in your life.

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In conclusion, it is wonderful to know that life is important and to take steps to remember it. So, the question for you this wonderful day is what is that you don’t want to forget?