Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Memory

I wonder if people realize one of the most precious gifts God ever gives us, without which we are only half human, half dead or half robot. God creates men so complete that they came in with a brain. The intriguing question probably, is it true that brain is responsible for feeling something. If so, meaning that we feel something with our mind, not heart. I would think so because it likely the brain who instructs the heart to feel the happiness or sadness.

Well, I am not going to talk about technical aspect of our brain function. I want to explore what mind is and what it gives to our life. Brain also has some kind of a chip like computer chip to our mind and it is called memory, just like our computer, only this time we will not find any mark ‘Intel inside’ on our forehead.

I do not try to tell a joke. I just think that the memory plays very important role in our life. Imagine life without memory, it tends to be disastrous rather than happiness. Sometimes, we try to erase our memory voluntarily or we are forced to remove the memory from our mind, especially the bad ones. If we realize how precious the memory is, then why would we try so hard to erase it? Why are we not afraid of the prospect of God being angry with us, that He would erase all of it, even the memory we do want to keep? Imagine life without memory…

Once I met a friend who lost her memory because of Meningitis. She could not remember anything beyond three months. Her husband then left her, vanished, what a scoundrel. Some of us, her friends, unconsciously say it is lucky for her that she lost her memory. Unfortunately, without any particular reasons, she keeps the memory of her husband quite well.

God places memory right in the center of our big brain, so that it is well protected, unless an un-avoiding crash hit the head, it will stay in there safely. Memory contributes a lot to our life. Most of the times, it shapes people to what they are now. Good or bad memory will remain with us as long as we live and I think that is something that we should be very thankful. Imagine life without memory…

Just like man-made computer, despite His Almightiness, for some unknown reasons, God does allow disturbances occur to the brain affecting the memory. Why did I say ‘for some unknown reasons’? Because the reason is hardly understood by the person whose memory is disrupted, what would he or she lose the memory for? As the affected person loses the memory, of course, he or she could not figure it out why. For me, the fact that our memory is vulnerable and must be kept carefully is something we must remember all the times. We have to cherish it while we are having good memory, otherwise, it will be too late.

‘Memory corrupted’, that is a common message we see in computers. We will be thankful if we have back-up files when we see the message. Now, do we have back-up files for our memory? I do not think so. I doubt if we have any internal back-up file in our brain. What we have is some external back-up file systems such as diary, written story, photos, like nowadays, emails, etcetera. I just try to imagine, if someone lost her or his memory, could he just retrieve his memory by going through the pages of his diary, written story or just looking at his once favorite photos? He might be able to read or see all of the external back-up files but he could not have the feeling of those files. He could not remember his sadness when he wrote the diary or stories or he could not know the meaning of words he wrote, why was he sad, excited, or even angry of something or someone, perhaps?

I know that we are not always going through enjoyable experiences in our life. Sometimes we find life sucks. I would rather say it is not something bad actually. It is not that I never experience bad things before; I did much in the past, only now I see it differently. I think bad experience filling bad memory in our mind should not be removed or erased. We should have the strength to keep them in our brain because we need them to remind us of our mistakes so that we will not make any more mistakes in the future, at least not the same one. If a donkey will not allow itself hit the same stone, then why would we? Thus, bad memory in such a way can help us be a better person. Memory and good values that live in everyone’s heart will ensure us to find the right direction in life.

Life without memory could mean disastrous because we will leave our beloved ones without physically ever leaving them at all. We will never share our love with them since we hardly know them, how could you share your love with strangers. Yes, strangers would be the name of your beloved ones, husband, wife, children, mom, dad, relatives, best friends or your once most hated enemies. Even I will not disregard the fact, I still believe that people will not intentionally want to remove their memory even the bad ones. However, in some cases, there are professionals involved in the effort to remove bad memory such as therapist or shrink. Bad experiences of people are relative to each other, bad to someone might be good to others. In such cases, where the good or bad is measured subjectively, I think we must not forget that God has provided us with such a sophisticated capacity that enables us to survive from time to time.

So, if there is ever a choice between losing the memory, may God forbid, or letting ourselves embrace the memory, no matter how terrible it is, I personally would choose to keep them instead of erasing them. The memory will make us alert in the future, just like a statue of any hero in any place, or a monument showing you the achievement you reached or the mistake you made and the price you paid for it. All for nothing but the goodness for ourselves. They made you tell the good from the bad, they would remind you of your happiness and sadness. They would remind you of your long lost love, your stupidity, your very human being. The memory would help you to remember how lucky you are that you should thank your Creator.

Imagine life without memory, it is just like watching movies without stories.

/lym 01/12/2009

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