Without getting to caught up in the details, the theories, and the science of memories, I believe a brief layman’s overview is in order. We’re all bombarded with millions of pieces of visual and verbal information on a daily basis. Which pieces of stimulus will be retained as a memory and which will be discarded? I’ll use the analogy of trying to win backstage passes to one’s favorite artist’s concert as it relates to the birthing of a memory!
All applicants enter a small waiting room, the frontal lobe of the brain. High speed filtering occurs here, as only five to seven people are allowed in the room at one time. The others are quickly told to go home. For some reason, those unlucky applicants did not qualify to be a long term memory. The lucky ones are allowed to continue down the hall to the interview room, or the temporal lobes. An intense interview now starts through a process called consolidation. Out of this process, a select few are allowed to pass down the neural network to the backstage, or the cortex. A memory has just been born!
As we all know, there are both good memories and bad memories. Even bad memories serve a purpose. However, I wish to focus on the good memories. We all have good memories of our own, but we are all also included in other people’s good memories. I’m not sure which one is more rewarding to me; to have my own great memories or to be included in others great memories. I feel most of the time they are probably one in the same.
I guess my point about memories is two fold. Firstly, one never knows when a memory is going to be born. The simple verbalization of that statement makes it desirable to me to strive for living a purposeful life, combined with a bit of an ‘in the moment’ lifestyle. The resulting memories that are born from one’s life will be ones that are known to, and enjoyed, only by oneself. Together with the memories which one has been blessed to take place in, that are treasured and revisited by many others.
Secondly, strive to create and be involved in only the good memories.