It don’t have to be the fifth of November.
Life is so full of events and people that make those moments worthwhile. Living in those moments, we make memories we cherish forever.
But we don’t always remember everything as it is. We forget quite a lot too.
Memory bias is real. That’s the problem. We choose what we want to remember, and sometimes we choose to forget uncomfortable incidents or people we don’t want to encounter again. We may forget the favour of a friend, the sacrifice of a parent, the persistence of a teacher—all just because our priorities shift.
And sometimes, our memories are no longer the same. We think we’re happy today, but when looking back at today’s memory years later, we may realise something more profound about this moment. Who’s to say, we may even feel then that the happiness of today was pretence—a result of societal pressure. Everyone has their own stories, their own perspectives. What is a good or bad memory depends on who we are at the moment. After all, as the years go by, as we mature, even memories (and memories of those memories) fade away.
And that’s why we shouldn’t rely too much on memories. Although there’s so much we can learn from remembering the past, it’s also so easy to overdo it. It doesn’t do to dwell in the past and forget to live in the present. And sometimes, we do just that. We let precious memories of days gone by cloud our judgement and hinder our progress.
It’s like the trivial selfie culture. People obsess over photographing places and things, so much so that they’re no longer in the moment. Our intense desire to memorialise an incident, drives us away from internalising the memory itself.
In the same way, we obsess with the good old days that we fail to realise that better days will come. And therein lies the inertia of making new memories, of trying new things. We worry so much about living up to the past that we forget to live in the present, fearing that the future wouldn’t be as good as the past.
Let’s be thankful for the past, remember it with gratitude, and use it to shape ourselves a better future. The past isn’t a curse we should cling to. It’s, instead, a lesson that we should live through, learn, and pass on.
Thanks for today’s muse, Kumud and #SpiritChat.