Friday, October 8, 2010
Memory and Aging In The Here and Now
As I age, I am becoming more aware of the imperfection of my memory processes. Especially when I can’t remember where I put my car keys. Often, when I look back over my shoulder, there seems to be a large sign with the word Alzheimer’s. It’s scary!
Many people, including a lot of older persons, believe that as we age we tend to live more and more in the past because earlier life events mean more to us. Yet most people regardless of their age have fond memories. So why should older people spend more time in the past than others? Memories, long and short, positive and negative can useful because they can help us act in the here and now.
By releasing preoccupation with either the “good old days” or the future we can focus our experience on the here and now.
That’s not to say that the past means nothing. We can learn from it, without living in it. According to Wille Nelson, an American musician and community activist who is now 76-years-old, to act wisely we must “Be here. Be present. Wherever we are, be there.