The Meandering Social Worker

wandering : wondering : learning

Memories are made for sharing

Memories.  What are they?  Why do we have them?

We may live in today but even so we are continually accessing the learning from our memories, whether we are conscious of it or not. It’s how we parent, how we prevent ourselves from repeating past mistakes (usually), how we make daily decisions. Our memory bank provides us with a wealth of guidance, today and for the future.
Memories are important.
Facebook almost daily gives me a ‘memory’ to re-share. There are several songs that refer to ‘making memories’ (usually in relationships). Memories are a popular theme in films, often for comedic purposes, or to press home a serious message.
(included just because I love Bon Jovi)
We make memories with and for our children which helps build their identity and self-esteem. And when children are separated from their parents for adoption we give them a memory or ‘life story’ book of their lives before adoption. Micro memories that their adoptive parents weren’t there for, that help tell them who they are. Our very earliest childhood memories are usually no longer our own memories but the formation of the sharing and re-telling of the stories with and by those who were also present. Memories are important, throughout our lifespan but particularly as we get older.
As my mother ages and wants me to be around to help be her memory, not just of the present but of the past, it brings home to me the ultimate tragedy of being a multiple divorcee – I have so many fond (and maybe not so fond) memories but cannot laugh and share them with the person(s) I made them with.  And I am far from alone in this.
Amnesia is a tragic state. But the forgetting of the past is only one memory problem. Completely debilitating is the state of not being able to make new memories, like the man who lives in a 10 second loop, always asking the same questions over and over again.
We are surrounded by memories – until we lose them, or the ability to make them, or the ability to keep them through sharing them.

Online learning through Coursera includes this course on the meaning of memories, using films as illustration. https://www.coursera.org/learn/memory-and-movies

 

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