Moonwalking with Einstein
Just finished reading a highly-entertaining but yet very informative book about a journalist’s transformation from curious bystander into winner of the United States Memory Championship.
The narrative nicely frames an exploration of the very complex topic of our memories and what makes us remember — and forget — things.
In the end, I think this quote best sums up what the book is about and why our memories are still so important in this age of externalizing our memories:
How we perceive the world and how we act in it are products of how and what we remember. We’re all just a bundle of habits shaped by our memories. And to the extent that we control our lives, we do so by gradually altering those habits, which is to say the networks of our memory. No lasting joke, invention, insight, or work of art was ever produced by an external memory. Not yet, at least. Our ability to find humor in the world, to make connections between previously unconnected notions, to create new ideas, to share in a common culture: All these essentially human acts depend on memory. Now more than ever, as the role of memory in our culture erodes at a faster pace than ever before, we need to cultivate our ability to remember. Our memories make us who we are. They are the seat of our values and source of our character.
While I don’t necessarily agree that “we’re all just a bundle of habits shaped by our memories”, I believe that our memories certainly play a major part in defining who we are, our values and our character.
And that’s where I’m starting to see the importance of memorizing scripture and the way it can shape our lives as Christians.