As I had mentioned in, Recruitment lessons from Mangoes…, I am a regular reader of the column Speaking Tree in the Times of India. Reading it in the morning is a great way to start my day. Maulana Wahiduddin Khan is a regular contributor. His recent article was titled It’s good to forget.
I am a product of the great Indian education system that lays so much emphasis on rote learning and remembering stuff. No wonder I was intrigued by the title. I couldn’t quite understand how it could be good to forget. However, the first paragraph of the article satisfied my curiosity.
Everyday people face negative experiences. Whether of greater or lesser import, people generally like to dwell on these negative experiences. Once this becomes a habit, it has a negative effect. Then unpleasant experiences become a part of their active memory, till it becomes a jungle of negativity. So it is best to forget these kinds of sad events.
I completely agreed and read through the rest of the article.
The choice in this context is not between forgetting and not forgetting: the real choice is between living with all kinds of bitter memories and totally freeing yourself from them. Try to forget unpleasant memories, for the alternative to this is living in bitterness and that is not a good choice for anyone.
I have experienced this myself. Thoughts are self perpetuating. More we think about something, stronger the thought becomes. More we think pleasant thoughts, we get happier. Haven’t you experienced those perfect days that start on a great note and continue to get better.
On the other hand, bitter thoughts, memories, anger weighs us down. And more we think about them, stronger the feelings get and we remain grounded. One bad thought leads to another and soon we are completely depressed. And longer we hold those negative memories more they sap our energy, our happiness.
I have experienced the effects of bad memories first hand. There were times in my life when I felt utterly wronged. I became so frustrated and angry. Through the day, I would keep thinking about the injustice done to me . Could not concentrate on anything. At night, would keep tossing and turning in my bed. Could not go to sleep. And when the sleep came, it was fitful. I would wake up in the morning, still with the same thoughts.
I learnt a great lesson at that time. Only way to remove bad memories from your mind, is to fill it with good memories. I consciously started thinking about good things in my life. My family, my friends, my intelligence and abilities. And as these thoughts and memories became stronger, the bad memories started fading, and eventually, became so faint, that they don’t affect me anymore.
This reminds me of another great thought from Bhagvan Buddha. He said, “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned”.
Yes. It is good to forget. Forget those bad memories.