REMEMBER TO REMEMBER

 
We do not remember days, we remember moments.
— Cesare Pavese

My son is a huge Michale Jackson fan. He knows every album, the year it came out, and pretty much every lyric to all his songs. He even has the dance moves down pact, with it’s kicking of the leg to grabbing of the…belt buckle. This means that our car rides usually consist of being serenaded by the late king of pop, while humming along to the all too familiar melodies. Yesterday evening, our car ride was yet another one of these moments.

“Do you remember the time

When we fell in love

Do you remember the time

When we first met girl

Do you remember the time

When we fell in love

Do you remember the time”

I found myself softly signing along to the only words that stuck out…

”Do you remember the time…”

”Do you remember the time…”

”Do you remember…”

An then, it dawned on me; remembering is such a crucial part of life and engaging in story.

The middle of any movie makes sense, only when we remember what happened in the beginning. The ending of a story is only as impactful as what we can remember of the tension and conflict the protagonist went through. If we stop remembering, plain and simple, we’ll just forget.

Our human dilemma is that we tend to remember what we should forget, and forget what we should remember. Remembering what we’ve been through, how we felt, why we made a decision and where we came from empowers us to live life with a deep sense of resolve. 

If we stop remembering, plain and simple, we’ll just forget.

The most powerful stories are those where the main character had to overcome great odds to get the girl, stop the bomb, rescue the person and ultimately, save the world. Perhaps that sounds overly dramatic. The point is that if we don’t remember the past, the present won’t be as meaningful.

You’re in a relationship with extreme tension; remember why you fell in love.

You started a business that isn’t producing much results; remember why you began.

You’re going after a dream that seems to be going no where; remember the passion that moved you to take a risk.

You want to give up? Remember why you began.

“Do you remember the time…”

“Do you remember the time…”

“Do you remember the time…”

It was Spanish philosopher and Poet, George Santayana who said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Our ability to remember the past, for better or worse is what gives us the resolve to never repeat it. Remembering how we felt when “that” happened, reminds us why we left. Remembering the hurt “it” caused, strengthens us to never go back. Remember. Remember. Remember.

Our ability to remember the past, for better or worse is what gives us the resolve to never repeat it.

It’s not just with negative experiences of our past. In fact, I feel our greatest, and best experiences are the ones we slowly allow to fizzle away from our remembrance. Do you remember the conversations that were had with mom, dad, brother and sister as we road tripped across the Great Lakes? Do you remember exactly how you felt when you laid on the field, sun to your face; wind softly caressing your skin? It is these remembrances that refresh our lives and souls. When we take time to, even briefly look back at our past, our present takes on a new sense of meaning and delight.

Do you remember the time?

Our ability to remember is only as vivid as our memories. And to be clear, just because we remember something doesn’t mean we have to make it a memory. A memory is when you can experience past moments with your five senses. To remember is simply to look back, as we move forward. It is in this occasional looking back that provides us fuel to continue to move forward.

Living a great story begins with the beginning. In fact, every story we live in began somewhere. And remembering that somewhere, reminds us of what we’ve lived through. It is our ability to remember what we’ve lived through that gives us the capacity to embrace what we’re living in. 

It is in this occasional looking back that provides us fuel to continue to move forward.

Wherever you’re at, take a moment to remember the ‘why’ to your ‘what.’ Regardless of how it feels now, try to remember how it felt, then. When we remember to remember, we’ll begin to take deeper breaths, longer exhales and may even find a renewed sense of life.

I'll end by scything that, though we should not live in the past, we should always to learn from it. It is when we learn from our past that we begin to create our future.

“Do you remember the time…”

“Do you remember the time…”

Do YOU, remember the time?

 

 

May we live today, a story we’d want to tell tomorrow.

Joel

 

 
Joel Gonzalez1 Comment