Saturday, May 29, 2010


Memorial Day is a time of remembering, so I thought I would write about memory itself.

I have a particular psychological disorder that affects perception and memory. On the spectrum of this disorder, I am for all intents and purposes minimally impacted, but there are ways that my peculiar way of storing memories impacts my daily existence. There is no practical way for me to keep my calendar of commitments in my head, for example. In the past I have lost track of time in a more significant way, not even knowing what day of the week it was and "losing time" simply in the fact that the days flowed together without a clear accounting for my time. I would surface on Wednesday only to find that I should have been at a volunteer appointment the day before. It was messy and I was unable to keep my commitments at that time. I'm glad that I now have better organization and habits to help me track things better.

So one type of "remembering" helps us keep our lives and our commitments organized. It doesn't work equally well for all people.

In addition to tracking things and remembering things to do, there are many things to discuss about the act of remembering and the impact it has on our spirit and our motivation. Remembering comes in many forms, some of which may hinder life's progress.

We can have remorse, guilt, reminisce, fantasize, regret, resent, cherish, forgive, forget, repeat...there's so many verbs for the different relationships we can have to the past! It's important to learn from our past, not live in it.

As a race, humans dedicate studies, organizations, pastimes, and arts to keeping the past alive, perhaps in the hopes that the mistakes of the past will somehow bring hope to the future, as well as for cultural heritage, language preservation, reminders of our roots in humanity, etc.

There are good arguments on both sides of keeping the past alive and concentrating on the goals of the future. How do you balance a need to remember your roots and stop living in the past?

Join us on Let's Heal the World Together on Memorial Day, Monday May 31st from 5pm EST to 6pm EST to explore this topic!

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