Why Do We Treasure Memories?

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ChurchOfGodBear

He's just this guy, you know?
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(This forum is marked "Deep Thoughts". I can't think of a better place to put this.)

Occasionally, I'll find myself involved in a discussion about how life has changed in the past few decades. Sometimes this is in terms of technology, sometimes it's in terms of culture, sometimes it's a mixture of both. There's a lot to love about the world as it is today, but I think there's a lot that's been lost over the years. At times, I've tried to impress on people how neat it was to grow up in a different time (even when that time wasn't too different, relatively).

It's at times like this I can recognize what my grandparents and great-grandparents were doing when they would ramble on and on. They had clear memories of a very different time and place, and they felt that had value that us young kids couldn't grasp... and that value was enough that our elders TRIED to impart those feelings on us, even if we couldn't relate. I'm sitting here, thinking someone younger than me would benefit from knowing about life before the Internet. My grandparents thought I would benefit about knowing life during the depression. And THEIR grandparents probably wished the kids would understand life during the Civil War, or in the old country. And NO ONE around today remembers those things. These memories cherished by a whole generation are gone forever.

That's really what made me write this post-- the idea that memories that were so important to some are gone now, and someday whatever I think is important will be gone as well. Now, what happens to those memories is a matter that is affected by what you think happens to people after death. Not to get into THAT argument, but no matter what you believe, there's no one alive today who remembers when the US was a British Colony, or when the Roman Empire was at its peak. Surely there are lots of worthwhile memories there, lost to the ages.

My point is... does this bother anyone else as much as it does me? The fact that every era meant so much to someone, and now none if it is within living memory?
 

spaps

I'LL FUCK YOU OFF AT NO COST
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You live in a first world country with internet, free health care, and public schooling. I would hardly say that everything is shit.
I wasn't referring to me specifically.

I'd make an actual retort, but at this point I can't keep up with you.
 

theshak

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As we grow older our more nostalgic happier memories become even happier as our mind as a way of improving those memories e.g. we remember brighter colours, more pleasant smells etc. That's why we grow more sentimental with age :).
 

exball

He's fat! Iiiiii'm thin!
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images
 

Niachu

Retired Staff
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If it makes you feel any better, there're gems among all those memories to pass on to the next generation.
 

Waifu

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Jul 13, 2014
Maybe we try remembering a time when we were happy just to try to get our minds back in that state. I get really wistful and achy when I do because it reminds me that I'm not where I want to be right now, but for some people I think it's genuinely comforting.
 

c-no

Gluttonous Bed Shitter
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Memories are treasured because they give one something to look back on when remembering the past, especially when nostalgia kicks in.
 

Obnoxion

Pocket spaghetti monster
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For some people, the meaning of life is time. The future, the present, and the past. Memories are the only proof that we've ever been alive, so they are worth treasuring.

That's one way of looking at things, anyway.
 

ToroidalBoat

Token Hispanic Friend
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We treasure memories so that we can relive them to a degree. Kind of like why we take photos while on vacation. Also, memories are how we learn and develop.
 

Watcher

Cishet dudebro
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Most of the time the memories we "cherish" are only good in retrospect.

I mean I cherish my childhood memories quite a lot. Memories that I gloss over include when I suffered greatly, when I was bullied, when I was sick, when I got into fights as a kid. In the context of the problems I have now a lot of that seems downright enjoyable, but it wasn't at the time. And in 40 years I'll probably think the same thing about the problems I have today.

It's tied in very loosely to stuff like nostalgia. Our memories aren't perfect and a lot of the time we forget extremely important parts of our lives or indeed make things up as children and end up still believing them well into adulthood. I remember reading an article somewhere where a guy mentioned as a kid he lied to his friends that he actually completed Super Mario Bros 2, and did it so often that eventually as an adult he was totally convinced that he beat it. Until someone mentioned to him that Bowser wasn't the final boss of Super Mario Bros 2 that he actually realized he never actually beat it.

Memories are very fickle things. As are ideas and most things we think about in our minds. Until you write it down into something tangible it remains so. I believe a big reason why humans evolved the capacity to write was to record memory due to it's ever changing nature.
 
Last edited:

Queen of Tarts

Some biatch
kiwifarms.net
Joined
Jul 17, 2014
(This forum is marked "Deep Thoughts". I can't think of a better place to put this.)

Occasionally, I'll find myself involved in a discussion about how life has changed in the past few decades. Sometimes this is in terms of technology, sometimes it's in terms of culture, sometimes it's a mixture of both. There's a lot to love about the world as it is today, but I think there's a lot that's been lost over the years. At times, I've tried to impress on people how neat it was to grow up in a different time (even when that time wasn't too different, relatively).

It's at times like this I can recognize what my grandparents and great-grandparents were doing when they would ramble on and on. They had clear memories of a very different time and place, and they felt that had value that us young kids couldn't grasp... and that value was enough that our elders TRIED to impart those feelings on us, even if we couldn't relate. I'm sitting here, thinking someone younger than me would benefit from knowing about life before the Internet. My grandparents thought I would benefit about knowing life during the depression. And THEIR grandparents probably wished the kids would understand life during the Civil War, or in the old country. And NO ONE around today remembers those things. These memories cherished by a whole generation are gone forever.

That's really what made me write this post-- the idea that memories that were so important to some are gone now, and someday whatever I think is important will be gone as well. Now, what happens to those memories is a matter that is affected by what you think happens to people after death. Not to get into THAT argument, but no matter what you believe, there's no one alive today who remembers when the US was a British Colony, or when the Roman Empire was at its peak. Surely there are lots of worthwhile memories there, lost to the ages.

My point is... does this bother anyone else as much as it does me? The fact that every era meant so much to someone, and now none if it is within living memory?

I think people hold onto memories because they hate how things have become, or feel their lives are more complicated or not as fulfilling now as they were then. I also believe that saying "things were different back then, we didn't have this or that" is a way for people to show their disgust over perceived laziness of a current era.

I find memories to be generally painful because of depression though. Past happiness puts things into perspective and makes me feel unfulfilled. There's a longing there, too, and it hurts. That's why I like trying to throw memories away and make new ones.
 

Pickle Inspector

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Mar 10, 2013
Fun fact: Nostalgia used to be seen as a mental disorder.

I think it's that over time we forget the bad things and see the past through rose coloured glasses of the past and that just amplifies when you get older since you are less naive and generally have more worries in your life.

I think Chris is a good example because he thinks his highschool years were great but he probably wouldn't enjoy reliving it since back then he didn't worry about finding love or even consider that Sonichu wouldn't be a huge success.