The human affliction is an amazing thing. I am not sure why, but our past either is demon from one the seven levels of hell or it was the most epic event ever. Is it not possible to just remember a picnic as a place where you had some food? Was it really a chance meeting with Robert Plant during a whiffle ball tournament while wearing a burka. I want to know if any of us had a regular up bringing? I want to know why we generally forget the bad and look fondly at history stripping away the reality?
Part I: That wasn’t so bad…
The blog is going to be multi-part. I struggle with the key points because there is so much material here. So for now, “take a bad song and make it better” goes first.
I talked to a friend the other day who had a rough experience. A trip that was supposed to help drive business, re-connect with people, and explore life ended up being a let down. The seminar was not epic, friends that should have re-connected were human after all, and the social events were too much chaos. Early poll results showed a disappointed voter base on many fronts. Weeks later there was new energy that came from memories, came from new information, came from getting a better understanding of the soul. The point is why, or how does time twist memories? Do we need to defend our fragile ego or maybe we have a need to explain things in a format that matches our expectation?
Everyone has their own mental checklist:
Old boyfriend – he was a psycho but we had fun times
Old girlfriend – she stole all of my best vinyl but she was a great lover
First apartment – the heat didn’t work but damn did we live large
Even that little stock picture of photo shopped attractive kids shows it. The women probably hate that dude, he probably hit on both of them and mooched off of them. But they will look at that stupid selfie one day and ask “what ever happened to Zippy Johnson, he was so fun”.
I bet you a run through your photo albums would make my point.
A rough version of a conclusion
I think that idea is universal. We need to survive, justify, grow, learn, advance and protect ourselves.
A number of studies were cited in an article by the BBC News regarding this topic. The article titled, Why good memories are less likely to fade, discusses at length the human mechanism that helps us survive.
Dr Tim Dalgleish, a clinical psychologist from the University of Cambridge, tries to help those with serious depression to access positive memories. People need good memories and will often go to great lengths to manufacture them.
I am certain there is always clarity that comes with time. The saying goes something like time heals all wounds. Tell that to the guy mauled by a bear. We look back at the process and find that one little gem that popped out of seminar was germane to a current event. We pick out the memory tied to endorphins released by laughter. Your right brain has battled to find an answer and there it was the entire time, in the wee recesses of your bad memory. The emotional connection is tied to everything. Not so manly to talk about the emotional part (which is a lie – emotions are insanely sexy and manly). We strip away facts and remember the way we felt, or even wish we felt.
I suppose if you are a pre-disposed optimist this process is inevitable. You look for the good and try to grow from it. I don’t know a lot of pessimists, maybe I am surrounded by them, but, ironically my optimism has reframed them as positive people in my mind. I surmise many of those people will likely fixate on the crappy stuff. I am not writing to them, they would not be able to see past my rambling writing style, it pisses them off.
I know this is one small example but it does intrigue me. I am glad for this example because it gives me hope that we can become better people. I usually write to men. I have been told that I need to include women. We all know that all of my writing includes women. I am technically writing to men, but most women want men to be better people. I am guessing that most women want to understand men better too. Ladies, you are welcome. I won’t tell anyone if you are reading this, you are still right, and we are still wrong. I think that is probably a falsehood too but that is also another topic. We will delve into a discussion on people who see every event as a bad memory. I am not too excited about that since I don’t have a frame of reference and I am naive. So in the mean time… Let’s Go!