It’s been a while since I’ve taken part in Stream of Consciousness Saturday, organized by blogger LindaGHill, and I’ve missed it! So here I am in time for this week’s prompt, which is “memory.” My first thought on this?
That memory is faulty — yet how often don’t we overlook this fact, often to our detriment?
I can’t tell you how many times I, or people around me, have wasted time and/or gotten upset with someone else based on something “remembered” which turns out to have been incorrect. This effect is compounded when it’s based on someone else’s memory.
Instead of first asking the person about what was said or done, and considering all possibilities, many of us get stuck on the one way we’re sure something happened.
Why do we do this to ourselves and those around us? If we need any proof of how bad our memories can be, just take a look at the countless stories of eyewitness accounts which have turned out to be proven wrong — if people can misremember important details in such serious situations, who are we to think our recollections of more minor events would be any better?
Take, for instance, the following sources confirming the unreliability of eyewitness accounts and our memories:
(Incidentally, although I’m writing this off-the-cuff as per the SOCS guidelines, I had to look up and link to some sources here so I don’t sound like my stance is baseless!)
There are countless other results that pop up when you search for this topic, but they all boil down to the same conclusion:
Don’t over-rely on your memories.
Just don’t assume that what you remember is 100% accurate — and certainly don’t let it affect how you interact with others. Give them the benefit of the doubt.
Oh, and by the way, as I write this, I’m also telling this to myself; in no way am I above jumping to conclusions based on inaccurate recollections! Just ask any of the relatives or co-workers who I’ve been convinced have an item of mine that I need — I’ll swear they borrowed it last or that I saw them put it someplace…
only to discover that I had it somewhere else all along.
You know you do it, too. Hopefully you can remember that at least? 🙂