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Essay: The Value of a Memory

Essay: The Value of a Memory - Laier |1 The Value of a...

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L a i e r | 1 The Value of a Memory Memories allow one to see the world through them, as if each memory is a pair of glasses which one slips on over each preceding pair. Seeing the world through these compiled lenses provides a view of life that cannot be duplicated. Memories serve to shape beliefs and influence future reactions by allowing for the understanding and interpretation of every encountered event by comparing it to a memory of the past. The value of a memory lies not within its specific content, but within its ability to direct actions of the future. The individualized experiences that comprise the lives of all people are differentiated almost solely through the memories that each person has obtained throughout their life. Two people can experience the exact same event and have completely different reactions. This is because of the different memories each person possesses, which lead to beliefs and notions about particular subjects and thereby affect the belief and value systems of each individual. In addition to that, memories also affect people’s behaviors. Everyone has different social barriers and thresholds for what degree of social interaction they are comfortable with. An example of this could be a touch on the shoulder. To some, this is a friendly way of getting another’s attention, while to others this action constitutes a violation of their personal space and comfort zone. A person with a frightful past or history of abuse is much more likely to react negatively because of the memories they associate with physical contact. However, a person with memories of a loving past is much more likely to accept physical contact in a positive way. Again, these reactions are attributed to memories that have been compiled over ones lifetime. The same idea, that memories affect actions and responses, holds true for non-physical interaction as well. Interaction with media forms such as TV or movies can evoke different responses from different people. For example, in the movie “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless
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