Thursday, November 16, 2006

Memory: Who & What Do You Remember?

One of the challenges (and opportunities) in creating an ethical will is "memory". We're called upon to recall the people and events of our whole lifetime (so far) as well as reflect on their meaning for our lives today.

According to Piero Ferrucci in his new book, The Power of Kindness (which I'm currently reading):

"The essence of memory is not in the storage of information, but in the emotions we hold, in the meaning we give to our recollections, in the relationships that, because we remember them, stay alive. The friends of my childhood, the pain of a goodbye, the meeting with a special person, a wonderful September afternoon, and so forth -- all these are not merely items I keep in an archive. They are vital ingredients of my history. Through my memories I build my life and my identity. I am what I am by virtue of how I remember what has happened to me, the people I have met, the mistakes I have made, the triumphs I have enjoyed. I remember, therefore I am."

So in creating an ethical or spiritual will, we are reflecting on what is most "alive" in us today from all of our years of experience as a human being. No matter what our age, we can benefit from taking time for reflection, for looking at what lives in our memories, for seeing what meaning we have given to what we remember.

I encourage you to begin exploring memories of your lifetime. In the process, you'll find the "I am" of your life.
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1 comment:

Dr. Bernard J. Baca said...

My little league coach, Mr. Bone, was so quiet and strong and accepting in his quietness, that I always felt safe with him. No other adult came close at that time. When I was in the 5th grade, my teacher, a nun, was very positive towards me. I was very uneasy about the attention and special treatment so I attended an all boys school the following year.