February 15, 2021
To observe attentively is to remember distinctly.
Edgar Allan Poe
I don’t kmow about you but one of my greatest failings has been my difficulty remembering names. It is especially true these days as there are so many different folks that I meet in my daily encounters.
It is not only my fellow residents in our Independent Living senior community, it is also the housekeepers, food service workers, administrative staff, health care providers and others who go out of their way to make our lives as pleasant as possible.
I wish I had done better in the past, but I didn’t, I often failed to pay enough attention to those I have met. I am going to continue my effort to do better. Here are some excerpts from and article I saved years ago which helps me to remember that how well I remember is up to me.
Five Tools for Improving Your Memory
by Dr. Barry Gordon
Tool #1: Paying Attention – The first tool is paying attention – think of it as a flashlight that focuses on what you want to remember. The biggest problem in general that people have with their memory is not paying attention. Attention is the gateway to your memory.
Tool #2: Organization – Organizing memories involves putting them into meaningful categories. What’s most meaningful will depend not just on what you’re trying to learn, but also how you intend to use what you’ve learned.
A really good organization system may also help pack memories together, so instead of many separate memories, you have just one bundle. This makes the set of memories much easier to remember, and much easier to move around inside of our heads. The process is called chunking.
Tool #3: Making Connections – The third tool is related to organization but has its own place in the toolbox. It’s making sure that there are the right connections or links between your memories.
Connections are useful for three major reasons. One is that they simply make memories much stronger and more permanent. Any single memory by itself can fade or get isolated, and be forgotten. But when that memory is linked with others, the whole network becomes very much stronger, and much easier to navigate.
Connections are critical for our ordinary memory for events, names or facts, because it’s the connections to tags that we put on these that help us to remember them.
Connections are even more critical for our everyday thinking, problem-solving, and creativity. Connections are what allow us to connect the dots inside our heads, which is what we do when we think. The more we have, the better we can be at thinking.
Tool #4: Sharpening Your Intelligent Memory – The fourth memory tool is sharpening your Intelligent Memory, which is essential for smart, quick thinking.
Even though Intelligent Memory is largely unconscious, automatic, and fast, you can sharpen it by thinking through what you have to do slowly and deliberately. It’s just like learning how to drive or play a game like golf. If you work on getting each step right, you’ll be rewarded with skilled, rapid, automatic driving or playing.
Tool # 5: Having a Plan – The fifth tool is having a plan for how you’re going to use your memory. Think of it as a blueprint or map. You have to decide what you need to do with your memory in a situation, and you have to determine what tool or tools you need for that job.
We of course do this automatically to some extent. For most of us, visual memories are very strong, and our preferred way of remembering. For example, we may remember the name of a person that we hear by visualizing it as a printed word.
Sometimes the best way to remember something is not to have to remember it at all. If you can, write it down! The worst pen is still better than the best memory. Also, the simple act of writing something down helps engrave it in your memory, and having it written down will also boost your confidence. So when you write something down, you may find you remember it perfectly, and never have to look at your note!
No one can ever take your memories from you – each day is a new beginning, make good memories every day.
Asked by his third-grade teacher to spell “straight.” The boy did so correctly.
“Now,” said the teacher, “what does it mean?”
A Faithful Woman
An elderly Muslim lady was well-known for her faith and for her confidence in talking about it. She would stand in front of her house and say “Allah be praised” to all those who passed by.
Next door to her lived an atheist who would get so angry at her proclamations he would shout, “There ain’t no Lord!!”
Hard times came upon the elderly lady, and she prayed for Allah to send her some assistance. She would pray out loud in her night prayer “Oh Allah! I need food!! I am having a hard time, please Lord, PLEASE LORD, SEND ME SOME GROCERIES!!”
One night the atheist happened to hear her as she was praying, and decided to play a prank on her. The next morning the lady went out on her porch and found a large bag of groceries. She raised her hands and shouted, “Allah be praised!.”
The neighbor jumped from behind a bush and said, “Aha! I told you there was no Lord. I bought those groceries, God didn’t.”
The old lady laughed and clapped her hands and said, “ALLAH BE PRAISED. He not only sent me groceries, but he made the devil pay for them!”
“Happy the man who has broken the chains which hurt the mind, and has given up worrying, once and for all.”
Rabbi Bloom caught two of his rabbinical students gambling and drinking on Sabbath. Next day, Rabbi Bloom called them into his office and asked them what was going on. They immediately confessed to having given in to weakness and agreed that they deserved some form of punishment for their sin. Rabbi Bloom thought a lot about this and then came up with the answer. He bought two bags of dried peas from the delicatessen and told them,
“Put these in your shoes and walk on them for a week to remind yourselves how hard life can be when you turn away from God.”
A few days later, the two students met each other in the street. One had a pronounced limp and had dark circles under his eyes. He looked very tired and weary. On the other hand, the other was the same as he had been before.
“Hey,” said the first. “How is it that you are walking so easily? Didn’t you do as the Rabbi asked and put the peas in your shoes?”
“I did,” said the other.
“But I boiled mine first.”
We’ve all heard “Laughter is the best medicine.”
Lately I’m not so sure. If that were really true, wouldn’t the medical profession have found a way by now to charge us for it?
A man decides to take the opportunity while his wife is away to paint the toilet seat. The wife comes home sooner than expected, sits, and gets the seat stuck to her rear. She is understandably distraught about this and asks her husband to drive her to the doctor. She puts on a large overcoat so as to cover the stuck seat, and they go. When they get to the doctor’s, the man lifts his wife’s coat to show their predicament. The man asks, “Doctor, have you ever seen anything like this before?” “Well, yes,” the doctor replies, “but not framed like that.”
Your memory is the glue that binds your life together; everything you are today is because of your amazing memory. You are a data collecting being, and your memory is where your life is lived.
Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies. The editor is somewhat senile.
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