The record of wrong
13 Feb 2019
Records of wrong
Happiness is nothing more than good health and a bad memory.Albert Schweitzer - Theologian
Having a good memory is always much appreciated. Nothing like if you can call someone by name. Even after many years since you last met. Especially, someone, you don’t meet frequently. Memory doesn’t just stop with the names, places or things you can remember. Everything we see, hear and feel is taken through the mind to relate to the experiences from the past.
Imagine you are at your backyard when it’s dark, and you see two lights moving under the tree. It’s not too big and not tiny. If you are someone who has only seen cats going around your home, you will not be scared of those lights. You will never think it could be a tiger and be afraid unless you have experienced a big cat before.
You hear a loud noise, as loud as to have brought a building to dust. Unless you have lived in a war zone, you will not even remotely be close to wondering if that was a bomb.
Human memory tends to attract and keep a lot of negative and deconstructive experiences too easily. That is why it is natural to have negative feelings like anger and resentment on others about the bad things in them than to feel positive about the good. No matter how many good things someone has done to us, if there was one bad thing, we remember that more than all the right stuff.
A memory full of negative experiences makes one a pessimist. It breaks trust in relationships. It creates a negative perception of people or situations.
Imagine a world full of people living with good memories alone. Wouldn’t that be a sight? Every time you see your neighbour, you only see the good in them. If they wronged you, you forgive them immediately. In a similar situation the next time, you don’t expect them to mistreat you again. This is only because in your memory there are no records of any wrong they did to you.
Not very uncommon
It’s not very strange to keep resentments and anger. We hear people say, “I can forgive you, but I can never forget what you did to me”. What they infer here is that they can forgive you for once, but want to keep a record of wrong, so they will remember and have resentment all the time in the future.
However, it is wise to understand what happens here. We often don’t recognise that we can harm ourselves. When someone does evil to you, and you keep a record of the wrong that would lead to you harming yourself by harming others. When you hurt others, you hold a record of wrongdoing about your own self. You now end up being unable to forgive others as well as yourselves. That’s the guilt. Some are able to forgive. But if they don’t clear the records of wrong, it becomes a trap we set for ourselves to attract even more negative memories.
How to clear the records of wrong?
We can’t stop negative experiences from filling up our memories. But how do we clear them? Let us always remember why we should erase negative memories. Negative memories about someone does nothing to the other person but is very much self-destructive to the one who holds it. It’s not only self-destructive but also affects our relationship with other people in the future course. Therefore we should consciously remember the good things about people and deliberately deny the negative memories when they pop up. The more we refuse to think about the negative memories, the weaker it becomes.
So, the next time a negative memory pops up on your mind, be quick to refuse to think about it. Don’t try to recall the situation or think about it in detail. Just start focusing your mind on something good and make the bad memories weaker.