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Intangible and sometimes difficult to represent and describe with the power with which they present themselves in us, memories have one wonderful power and they can often follow up on actions in the present, both in the public and private spheres. Analyze the value of remembrance it means stopping for a second to reflect on the mechanism that in our minds brings back pieces of the past and also on how to use them for today and tomorrow. Learning from the past is easy to say but difficult to do, we are asked both in our life as individuals and as part of the community, let's find out how.
What is a memory
A memory is a memory, it is something that comes from the past but it can be an object or a thought, a sensation, a taste, a smell, a sound. In any case, the value of remembrance it is high, but it is better to distinguish the two cases. Let's start with the definition that the dictionary gives us.
The memory is the "imprint of a single event or experience or of a complex of events and experiences of the past, preserved in the consciousness and recalled to the mind by memory, with more or less intense affective participation "or a" note intended to recall or preserve the memory of a done". Today we talk about memories even when we come back from a trip and carry an object, a dress, an aroma in our suitcase ... sometimes we call them "Souvenir" which in French means just remember.
Today, however, we want to deepen the first meaning of remembrance, the one that cannot be touched but that touches us all inside when it peeps into our brains and hearts, the memory of a loved one, the memory of our birthday party, the memory of a special evening.
Memories remain in the heart
From experience, if we reflect well, we can speak of two types of memories, the spontaneous ones and those "on call". The first are here memories that pop up without having recalled them, perhaps due to a mental connection that we make unconsciously, or apparently at random. Does it ever happen to you that some event from the past suddenly comes back to your head with no apparent connection with what you are doing? It is the beauty of the human mind.
And then there are the reminders on call which are the ones who we can summon us by choice, because we want to tell them, because we want to relive them, because we need them to move forward in a difficult present or because we simply need them remember something from the past to act in the present. On-call memories are usually those that we metaphorically say to keep in the heart, due to the fact that they are particularly dear to us, because they excited us positively. In fact, it is said that even extinct or distant people remain in our hearts, and they do so throbbed even at the mere recalling of their faces.
Memories are our history
So far we have seen the value of memory in the private sphere but also in the public one it is remarkable. We mainly talk about the January 27 every year, World Remembrance Day, in which we remember the terrible events of the Holocaust. It is just one of the examples of how important it is to remember history, in order not to repeat mistakes in the present and in the future. There our history is made of memories, of memories collected and shared and above all handed down.
We took the example of an atrocious memory that today serves as a warning, but we can also take positive and slightly more naïve examples. For example i classic grandmother's remedies they are memories, they are memories handed down that today are precious and will be eternal if we too remember them and tell them to future generations. Memories are indeed our history, oral and written ones, intertwined, are what we can count on to make important decisions.
The memory in Italian literature
In Italian literature as in that of many other countries close to us, it is very present, I would dare to say almost omnipresent. We find it in Agostino, in Petrarca and in Montale, not to mention the verses of Leopards with his "Silvia remembers still ..." of the poem "A Silvia".
To understand the value of memory for Montale it is enough to mention these few but immense and eternal verses: "Do not sever, scissors, that face, / only in the memory that is displaced. / Do not make of his great listening face / my usual fog. // A cold falls ... Hard the blow rises. shakes itself / The cicada shell / in the first belletta of November. ". IS Dante? Inferno, Purgatorio and Paradiso are texts full of his personal memories that are mixed with memories of “public” or legendary characters in a plot written with a skill that makes it contemporary.
How to use memories
Well, let's go back to our personal memories, let's not keep them only in the heart but let's transform them into suggestions for the present, or into wellness tools. Here's how in 4 steps.
- Keep some distance from the memories so that they never become regrets. It may be nice to recall them but it must be clear that the past is the past and the present is the time we are living and on which our actions are real and valid.
- Look forward, not backward. That's right, living with your head - and your heart - turned to the past is of little use. Even if we may have the propensity to lull ourselves into memories, let's never compare what was with what is there because when an event has passed, we tend to keep a more positive memory of it and that will always win over the present full of obstacles that then over time we remove. When we win a race, we forget about the efforts made to train and the tension of the eve, for example. Or have you ever returned to a place where you spent your childhood remaining a bit disappointed? We had probably idealized it by transforming it into a magical place, thanks to the typical fantasy of children.
- Take action today to create beautiful memories for tomorrow. When we make a decision, when we choose what to do with our days, the idea of "drawing" something in the present that we will then be pleased to remember can be a good guide. If undecided, let's ask ourselves, "will it be something I will remember with pleasure?". If the answer is yes, then let's do it!
- Experiment. To have rich, varied and pleasant memories it is important to wander, taste, try new experiences, turn the corner, be curious. Yes, otherwise with empty days or all the same we end up with banal, boring and even not very useful memories.
To collect memories, I suggest you buy a vintage-style box, perfect for storing any type of object capable of evoking moments that still give us energy and positivity today.
Phrases about memories
Many have written on this theme, aphorisms are wasted but we have chosen the most original, those not to be forgotten.
“Hunting for memories is never a good deal ... You can't capture the beautiful ones anymore and you can't kill the ugly ones.” GIORGIO FALETTI
“Life is not what you lived, but what you remember and how you remember it to tell it. " GABRIEL GARCÍA MÁRQUEZ
“What is a memory? Something you have or something you've lost forever?” ISABEL ALLENDE
“Not only are happy memories loved. At some point in life, we realize that we love memories.” NATALIA GINZBURG
“Details are of great importance. In a way they act as an adhesive, they fix the essential stuff of memories.” SÁNDOR MÁRAI
If you like introspective and reflective articles, read also the Japanese art of Kintsugi and habits that are bad for the brain.