The Lost Art of Remembering

“Our society is slowly forgetting how to remember. We are forgetting how to remember those who have come before us, their mistakes and successes, and how the past affects us today. It is virtually impossible to know where you are going unless you know where you are coming from.”  – Lisa Kline

I read the above words while reviewing internship applications for my job. Every year, I pick an editorial intern to work with our team. Lisa submitted two papers. Both have some challenging thoughts in them.

Her article described her expereince while visiting England. She spent some time at a number of key landmarks. One was Warwick Castle, the legendary castle built during the rise of William the Conqueror. The site is one of the top ten attractions in the United Kingdom. It was opened to the public 1978 when the Tussauds Group bought it.

Lisa described how the once proud castle looks more like an attraction at an amuzement park. With a giant ice slide and skating rink under construction, the historic landmark focuses more on entertainment than education.

Lisa wrote, “After a day there, I knew no more at all about the historical significance of the castle and it town, but I did know that there was going to be a big ice slide in a month.”

Her point is that the morphing of Warwick Castle mirrors trends in society. Lisa wrote, “The problem is not so much with the people who work to preserve places like Warwick Castle, but rather with society. Without making the place into a theme park atmosphere, Warwick would never bring in the kind of money necessary to keep the place going. Any love of history and effort to remember that history has been lost to our insatiable need for entertainment.”

Lisa pointed out a distrubing trend with Western societies. Many people are so focused on today that they don’t want to take the time to learn from the past to have a better tomorrow. Remebering the past is becoming a lost art.

Do you know someone from another generation? If you do, consider spending some time with them to hear their stories. You could learn a lot about how things have changed and how so many things stay the same. Once these precious people die, their memories and experiences die with them unless someone else carries it on.

That is why remembering is so critical. So what are you remembering?

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