It needs very little argument to persuade the normal thinking person of the great significance of memory, although even then very few begin to understand just how significant is the function of the mind that has to do with the retention of mental impressions.
The first thought of the normal person when he is asked to consider the significance of memory, is its use in the affairs of daily life, along developed and cultivated lines, as contrasted with the lesser degrees of its growth.
In brief, one generally thinks of memory in its phase of â€œa good memory” as distinguished with the opposite phase of ” a poor memory.” But there is a much broader and fuller meaning of the term than that of even this important phase.
It is true that the possession of a good memory is responsible for the success of the individual in his every-day business, profession, trade or other occupation. His value in any walk in life depends to a great extent upon the degree of memory he may have developed.
His memory of names, facts, faces, events, situation and other things relating to his daily work is the measure of his capability to complete his task.
And in the higher activities of thinking, the memory comes as an priceless aid to the person in marshalling the bits and sections of knowledge he may have acquired, and passing them in review before his cognitive faculties â€”thus does the soul review its mental possessions.
And in case of social interaction of men and women, well stocked with available facts, the control of a retentive memory, renders its possessor a desirable member of society.
Memory In The Words Of Some Famous Persons
As Richter has said: “Memory is the only paradise from which we cannot be driven away. Grant but memory to us, and we can lose nothing by death.” Alexander Smith has said: “A man’s real possession is his memory; in nothing else is he rich; in nothing else is he poor.”
Lactantius says: ” Memory tempers prosperity, mitigates adversity, controls youth, and delights old age.” But even the above phases of memory represent but a small segment of its complete circle.
Memory is more than “a good memory”â€”it is the means whereby we perform the largest share of our mental work. As Bacon has said: “All knowledge is but remembrance.”
And Burke: “There is no faculty of the mind which can bring its energy into effect unless the memory be stored with ideas for it to look upon.” And Basile: “Memory is the cabinet of imagination, the treasury of reason, the registry of conscience, and the council chamber of thought.”
And Emerson: “Memory is a primary and fundamental faculty, without which none other can work: the cement, the bitumen, the matrix in which the other faculties are embedded. Without it all life and thought were an unrelated succession.” Kant pronounced memory to be ” the most wonderful of the faculties.”
Kay, one of the best authorities on the subject has said, regarding it: “Unless the mind possessed the power of treasuring up and recalling its past experiences, no knowledge of any kind could be acquired.
Memory Is Everywhere
If every thought, or emotion, sensation, passed completely from the mind the moment it ceased to be present, then it would be as if it had not been; and it could not be recognized or named should it happen to return.
Such as one would not only be without knowledge, without experience gathered from the past, but without reason, goal, or plan concerning the future, which implies that knowledge and require memory.
Even voluntary motion, or motion for a reason, could not have existence without memory, in every reason we can see the indulgence of memory in it. Memory is everywhere; memory is not only the knowledge of the scholar, but also the genius of the painter, the heroism of the warrior, the inspiration of the poet.
Memory And Consciousness
More over, without memory there is no existence for consciousness itself. There involves a change from a past to a present for every act of consciousness, and did the past state vanish the moment it was past, there could be no consciousness of change.
Therefore, we can find the involvement of memory in all conscious. So memory is the property of consciousness.
Memory And Character Building
Memory plays a vital role in the building of character and individuality, for upon the firmness with which they are retained, and the strength of the impressions received, depends the fiber of character and individuality.
Memory – Experience
Indeed the stepping-stones for greater attainments are our experiences and at the same time our guides and protectors from danger. We are saved the pain of repeating the mistakes of the past, if the memory serves us well in this respect, and may also profit by remembering and thus avoiding the mistakes of others.
In The Words Of Beattie
As Beattie says: “When memory is preternaturally defective, experience and knowledge will be deficient in proportion, and imprudent conduct and absurd opinion are the necessary consequence.”
In The Words Of Bain
Bain says: “A character retaining a feeble hold of bitter experience, or genuine delight, and unable to revive afterwards the impression of the time is in reality the victim of an intellectual weakness under the guise of a moral weakness.
To have constantly before us an estimate of the things that affect us, true to the reality, is one precious condition for having our will always stimulated with an accurate reference to our happiness.
The thoroughly educated man, in this respect, is he that can carry with him at all times the exact estimate of what he has enjoyed or suffered from every object that has ever affected him, and in case of encounter can present to the enemy as strong a front as if he were under the genuine impression.
A full and accurate memory, for pleasure or for pain, is the intellectual basis both of prudence as regards self, and sympathy as regards others.”
So, by this we can say that the cultivation of the memory is far more than the development and cultivation of a single mental ability. It is the development and cultivation of our whole mental being the development of our selves.