By: Kevin Sheehan, Special Columnist
With the passing of time, we earn something called experience. Experience is often shared with others, which can link us to others with “shared experience.” These experiences that we maintain and recollect are often comprised of memories. All in hall, when we have experience doing something, we simply are acknowledging that we remember having done said thing enough times that we remember how to do it correctly.
Shared experience is wonderful, and it promotes empathy. A group of children bully a child, and other children nearby have sympathy for the child, whereas one child in the corner who has been bullied has empathy. While the situation is not ideal, shared experience can help encourage others.
We often (myself included) state “I remember when” and “I used to do.” Sentences like that can be dangerous. A man sitting in a wheelchair maybe let the memories of him walking resonate. A widow may live in the memories of when her husband was alive. A child may try to salvage and guard early memories of their mother, before she was killed in a car crash.
It seems to go from very simple to highly emotional, but that is exactly how it works. Sometimes a certain smell, or sound can trigger our minds to leave reality and go back to that moment. We all have moments like these. One song takes me back to a funeral I attended, and I will never not think of that moment.
It seems like a pit that cannot be escaped. We all wish we had abilities that we had when we were younger, and we all wish there were times when we could have made different decisions. There are times we opened our mouths when they should’ve not been, and there are times when we wish we spoke up. Memories like this can haunt individuals.
Almost anything can trigger a memory too. True story, when I was working doing Security at NBC Golf, one television anchor walked by me, and the cologne he was wearing hit me like a wall. I immediately recognized it as the same cologne my sister’s first husband wore (She got married when I was 8, divorced a few years later). Not having smelled that cologne in over 15 years, I was surprised that I knew.
Memories can be poison. Some people still live in their memories and refuse to come to reality. The issue with such situations is that it hinders progression. Every serious wound will have a healing process and a scar, and to pretend the wound never existed is negligent and counter-productive.
Every experience is experience, whether good or bad. The future though, is often in the hands of the people who faced them. People can go on to do great things after they adapt to new situations, but that requires letting the past go. I am sure that at some point we have all come to the realization that life is not like you planned it to be.
Maybe it is different than you thought, but that doesn’t mean that life is bad, right?