The Power of Memory

Elsa - Waxhaw, North Carolina
Entered on April 18, 2009

Do you ever catch a glance at a pack of orange slices and start to tear up? Or, when you take in a deep breath of Cinnabon cinnamon roll-scented air in the mall, does it remind you of anyone or anything? Objects, smells, flavors, feelings, people, or just about anything else can dig deep into your memory and bring out certain times in your life. This is why I believe in the power of memory.

Wandering through Target one afternoon, I ended up in the shampoo aisle. I grabbed some Herbal Essences, popped the cap open, and took in the smell of vanilla, berries, and fruit ice cream of some sort. Before the words could even come out of my mouth, my mind had immediately taken me back to California, back to the countless times we visited Jamba Juice, back to the refreshing taste of an original-sized Razzmatazz on a hot summer day.

This is one of my favorite comparisons that has led to hundreds of memories from when I lived in California. I could tell you all about the times when my brother was younger and he used to always poke holes with his straw in the bottom of his cup, making the smoothie spill out and make a mess. Or the times when, instead of making dinner at home, our family would drive down Capitol Expressway a few blocks and grab some Jamba Juices for dinner. Or when I was with my best friend Jocelyn and her mom bought us some drinks to keep us occupied during the drive down to our tour of the University of California, Berkeley.

Often, people heavily influence the things that stick in my mind to remind me of something later on. These memories help me think of other things that influence how I think about my life, my family, and my friends. Memory is more than just remembering the time when I stayed up until four A.M. with a bunch of my friends at a birthday party or the time when I tripped and broke my arm in second grade – it’s about pulling all of our memories together and applying those memories to the rest of our lives. If you pull all the bad and good experiences together, you can make a positive impact on your future and continue to know how you became the person you now are.

A mind is a terrible thing to waste, and I believe you need to remember everything you learn in school or the wisdom you gain through everyday experiences in order to truly know yourself and learn more about others. The slightest memory should not be forgotten, as it may one day come in handy. This is why I believe in the power of the mind, in the power of memory.