Montgomery: “Don’t treat life as a big picture”

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TYLER MONTGOMERY, Opinion Columnist

Try remembering a birthday, maybe when you were ten. You probably had a cake. It was probably severed by your mother. Now ask yourself, do you remember what her face looked like when you were ten? Does it look like her face currently? Well, it seems as if you’ve rewritten that memory. So, what else have you’ve rewritten?

In a way, you are the creature from “Mary Shelly Frankenstein” and you are also Dr. Frankenstein. As humans, we do re-edit our memories. One way of looking at it is sometimes, we don’t know what memories will be important at the time. So why remember it? Then, when you do have to drag it from the beneath, it’s presentable, but there are some gaps. For example, forgetting your mother’s face from the age of ten. Is it important then? No. So, what is important to remember?

Now how can you trust yourself to remember what is important? An experiment at Northwestern University asked 17 people to think of an ocean or a forest, just some kind of scenery. Then, place an apple layered on top. Then, when reshown the image, they were asked to put the apple back in place. They always placed it wrong. Later studies have shown that the brain doesn’t find the information to be important. So why remember? That in itself is an important part of the discussion. What is important? How many people don’t find history or mathematics important in their life? Why remember something that we can’t use in the future? But we use math every day. We make our own personal history.

The problem could be we teach ourselves what isn’t important at that moment, and then don’t realize until much later that it could be important. Is remembering your mother’s face at ten important? Thus, the individual needs to decide what is and isn’t important, really, we must think that everything we do is worth the memory. Everything you learned and everything you’ve felt is the most impeccable discovery. All knowledge can be applied to all areas of life. That is one way of looking at knowledge. The problem is, knowledge is memory. If you reedit your memories, you’ve probably re-edited the knowledge you’ve sought.

Not remembering something can be very dangerous. You can mix up your thoughts. It’s not about remembering who you are, there is more to people than memories. It’s about remembering why you are. All the emotions, struggles, steps, and sites that you have seen. Although, if none of those are real, then why are you? Why don’t you remember your mother’s face? That actually reveals a lot about you. You’ve told yourself that it’s not important to remember her face. So why isn’t it important? Well, as a child, you don’t think about these things. How is remembering her face going to help you in the future? Why learn geometry if it won’t help me figure out my taxes? Well, first off most people hire others to do their taxes. I’ve overheard people say that one in high school, please stop.

Here is one topic to think about. Her funeral. When you’re at her funeral and you begin to remember all those past emotions, you can’t remember her face. You can’t put that over the former. It’s a little detail, but that’s why it’s so important. You should have even treated the little detail with the utmost respect. All knowledge should be treated equally, even if you have no interest in it whatsoever. Yes it changes, comes and goes, but you don’t know how it’ll affect you down the road. Don’t treat life as one big picture. Look at each piece as another discovery. It’s impossible to remember it all and the box may have left out three pieces, but it’s better than dig up the past and then sowing it together, only to leave it behind, because it looks nothing like what once was.