We all see things through unique sets of eyes. We take what we experience and retain this information in memories created in a story format. Each person’s preferred story format can vary – there will be some that form memories as told from a ‘victim’s’ standpoint while others will form memories from a ‘victor’s’ point-of-view.
My question for you: How do you format your memories?
Think about it. Observe yourself the next time you’re in a situation that you’re bound to make a memory about. Do you like the kinds of memories you create? Do they bring you happiness when you call upon these memories? Do they provide a source of strength and encouragement? Or do your memories serve as heart-wrenching reminders of times you felt excluded, wounded, or isolated? It’s up to you how you wish your memories and your perceptions to serve you – for better or worse.
Before you judge others’ takes on situations, consider that he or she has formed his or her perception and memories in a way that at one point served their greater needs. You cannot possibly understand what everyone around you has lived through, so abandon the assumptions. There is a lot to learn from the view points of others, therefore, instead of closing your mind when others discuss their opinions and observations, open your ears. Maybe a lot of the people around you notice the same things that you had not. Perhaps you have been oblivious to something important. You won’t ever know unless you step outside of your own head. If you aren’t comfortable listening to beliefs that differ from yours, then chances are, you are not firm in your own beliefs.
For those who like a little science backing on such matters, consider reading this article from the Smithsonian on How Our Brains Make Memories, and how we naturally rewrite our memories at a subconscious level.
Some of my favorite quotes on the subject:
“It’s okay to disagree with the thoughts or opinions expressed by other people. That doesn’t give you the right to deny any sense they might make. Nor does it give you a right to accuse someone of poorly expressing their beliefs just because you don’t like what they are saying. Learn to recognize good writing when you read it, even if it means overcoming your pride and opening your mind beyond what is comfortable.”
“It is a narrow mind which cannot look at a subject from various points of view.”
“Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”
“The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.”
“It is never too late to give up your prejudices”
“Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won’t come in.”
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