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Write Your Own Memory Book

Writing your own memory book

When it comes to writing your own memory book, you write about what you know first, then fill in the gaps. It sounds straight forward, and it really is as long as you follow a few trusted rules.

When it comes to what you are thinking, or what you thought, about something that happened, then you are the only one who really knows the truth. But when it comes to what physically happened, then there are usualy several points of view.

So describe your thoughts all you like, they're your thoughts and nobody else had them.

But when it comes down to describing events, our memories often deceive us, or if not deceive then they are incomplete. Take a mugging for example (no, I'm not saying you're a mugger, it's just an illustration!). The person doing the mugging, the person being mugged, the witness and the policeman will all see things rather differently.

So it is when we write our own memory book. We all have our point of view and we all see things differently. So when you have described events and written your record of events down as you remember them, a birthday, a wedding, a holiday for example, don't forget to ask other people that were there for their memories of the same event. It will often surprize you that they don't remember the thing that stuck in your mind most, but they have remembered something that you've long forgotten.

Of course, nobody's right and nobody's wrong. You're remembering things from a different perspective that's all. But if you want a complete record of what actually occurred at some event in your life, don't forget to get other people's viewpoint as well as your own.

I well remember seeing two films about Pearl Harbour. One in English, from the point of view of Americans, and one in Japanese, from the point of view of the Japanese. To understand fully what happened at Pearl Harbour you need to understand how both sides viewed the events. Why on earth did they attack and what were they hoping to achieve. It doesn't make you any less patriotic to view things from an opposing viewpoint, however wrong that viewpoint was.

So it is with your memories of events. You write your own memory book and that forms the main dialogue, but it adds a certain depth when you also include the views of others who lived through the same things but saw them from a different viewpoint.