Here’s a thought: The core or constituent of a person is the sum total of his memories and experiences. By person I mean a grown up. Somebody in mid 20’s maybe. Somebody whose actions are influenced more by his memories and experiences than instinct or impulse.
Why are memories important? How much of an impact does the past have on the now. The mundane everyday things are not affected. I wake up and brush my teeth everyday. The way I brush my teeth tomorrow would not be influenced by the way I brushed my teeth on 12th August 2011. What does it take for a memory to influence our action? A certain amount of thought process is definitely involved. For experiences from the past to influence our actions in the present, one needs to think back to the past and reflect on the memories. But we don’t do this for most of our normal activities.
A short list of my daily routine would go like: brush teeth, take a crap, go for a jog, take a bath, make breakfast, go check in, come back and do some shit, jerk off, eat, sleep, do some other shit, eat, jerk off, sleep. Which of these activities do my memories influence. None.
So are memories overrated? If I wake up tomorrow with no memory of my past, would I still do things the same way? Why is it that as we grow older, we increasingly make use of our memories to help decide our actions. Or do we?
I have always had an inquisitive mind. Always curious about the way things work. As I grow older, I increasingly feel the need to reason my actions. Why am I doing the things that I am doing. Is it affecting my life? Is it making any difference? What is the use? It is this kind of thinking that brought about my divorce with god. I stopped myself on the tracks and asked myself: what is the use of going to the temple. I have never in my adult memory asked the guy for anything for myself. I have always felt that my future is in my hands only.
I distinctly remember what my brother once said to me many many yeas ago. If I try to remember correctly, this memory could be close to 8 years old. I was 16 then. He said: “What happens to you in the next second is influenced by what you do in this second.” Simple words that stuck to my mind and never left. I have reflected on my brothers words lots of times since that day and I have increasingly found myself agreeing to his quote. So much so that it led to me losing faith in god when he himself still has faith. He wouldn’t like it if I blamed him for that though.
What does reasoning have to do with memories? And why do memories make up a person? I feel that memories are the things that give a person his sense self worth. When you think back to the times when you did things that made you feel good about yourself, made you feel proud, it influences your present. It makes you happier. If they are happy memories that is. What about sad memories? What do sad memories or embarrassing memories influence our present. They make us feel sad. And sad is bad.
So why shouldn’t a person replace sad memories with happy memories. Is living in denial so bad? I guess sad memories act in a way to teach us lessons in life. Help us grow to be better persons. But that brings me to a different topic altogether. Why should we try to be better persons? Why should one strive to go faster and farther in the race that is life. The fact that life is a race is undeniable. So why should we run harder. Is it for yourself? Is it for others? Does earning a better salary that you neighbour make you feel better? Is it the only reason why you should try to be better. That is a topic for another time I guess.