Sometimes memory loss can be a blessingWho hasn’t forgotten something that later came back to embarrass them? I’ll bet it has happened to you. Most everyone reading this will likely remember such an experience.
By: Bernie Hughes, Superior Telegram
Who hasn’t forgotten something that later came back to embarrass them? I’ll bet it has happened to you. Most everyone reading this will likely remember such an experience.
I was never good at remembering names; now I’m pathetic and blame my problem on old age. Maybe like the Bud Brand poetry verse I cited once before fits many of us old fogies:
What I forget
And I forget
What I regret.
What can we do about an inadequate memory? People who have studied this problem of forgetting say that, our short-term memory can only hold information between 15 and 30 seconds unless it is rehearsed. I’ve heard that said, but have a problem with the rehearsing. What should I say? I’m very happy to meet you blanked blank, blank. Would you spell that for me? And then, before moving on, say again, I am pleased to have the pleasure of meeting you blanked blank, blank.
I just can’t seem to do it. Maybe you have a better or easier idea and will share it with me.
Writing things down that I want to remember helps, but too often I don’t remember to rehearse those names or too often don’t even remember to reread the note I wrote to help me.
Is forgetting always bad? Of course not. Think of many reasons that forgetting helps. I can come up with three:
• An individual that when you first met made a poor impression on you. You didn’t like them on that first meeting, but later you discovered many great qualities that they had. In the end they have become one of your very best friends, maybe even your spouse.
• What would we do if all past unpleasant situations remained in our minds? Could our wee brain cell package function normally in such crowded conditions? Forgetting is a lifesaver in this event.
• What if you were in wartime military service where killing was the goal? What if you could not get your mind to move on from the cruelties to and blood shed of others to moral behaviors and forget the very unpleasant experiences.
Some of our service members now home from such service can’t rid themselves even with psychiatric help. Suicides are up a great deal at this time, and I believe that is the ultimate way out for some. In a book by Michael Moore, he tells of the time in his home town of Flint, Mich., after WWII that a Catholic priest friend told him that he is living with an immoral act (sin) that he had never confessed. This priest had been an Air Force chaplain and blessed the crew and purpose before they left to drop an atomic bomb on Nagasaki. Certainly, in that case, forgetting would have been most welcome.
So, you can see, that forgetting isn’t all bad. At least that is my excuse and I’m sticking with it and hope that I never forget it.
Can’t leave off without a few lighter quips on memory:
With some people, a clear conscience is nothing but a poor memory.
Nothing is more responsible for the good old days than a poor memory.
Senior said his memory is so poor he can’t remember all the words to Happy Birthday.
Main reason a senior can be self-satisfied is a poor memory.
Three things indicate that a senior is getting old: first one is poor memory and I can’t remember the other two.
Bernie Hughes, Ed.D, is a retired educator who resides in Superior. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org