As of late, within the academic community, I hear numerous discussions about memory. How are memories validated and verified, and should they be? Have you ever had a specific memory that is remembered totally different by someone else? For example, growing up I remember having the best meals at my grandmother’s house. Those Sunday afternoons were filled with good food and love. I remember her cooking and especially the dessert table that included yummy cakes and pies that were freshly baked. Food and family are a wonderful combination and though our family was small in number, we had plenty of food and good times. I miss those Sunday afternoons because grandma always finished dinner at 3:00pm. That was just early enough for us to have leftovers and savor the tasty dessert that followed. The beautiful thing about memory is that no one can take them away from you. The good memories are especially heartwarming and comforting when you have very few family members in close proximity. The interesting thing however is that not all of my family members would remember those Sundays exactly the same way. In fact when asked, another family member corrected my nostalgic flashback. “Grandma never baked those pies,” they corrected. “I was always sent to the local store to get those pies.” “Really,” I said surprisingly,”mmm, well maybe I forgot that she never actually baked the desserts.” “And,” they continued,”She never started dinner and 3:00 pm, it was always 4:30pm, because I always ate in a rush in order to watch the pregame football coverage.” The way they remembered the memory is a direct reflection on their own interpretation of the experience. Though they may also remember the experiences as positive, their interpretation is specific to their personality.
This idea that memories are subjective allows for more understanding around the life experiences of others. It also allows us to have a deeper understanding of the impact that certain memories have on the human brain; thus dictating our life experiences.
Person: “Remember when………?
Me: “No actually I don’t, but tell me more what happened.”
Me: “Hold on and let me grab a seat and my latte.”
“The memory of the righteous is blessed…..”
Proverbs 10:7 NIV