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Prompt: Do memories hinder or help people in their effort to learn from the past and succeed in the present?
I strongly believe that memories help people in their effort to learn from the past and succeed in the present. The very essence of an individual depends on his experiences and the memories of those experiences – the effects they had on him and what the final situation was like. A person without memories is like a bird that must learn to fly each time it takes off from its nest – learning through failure every time.
During the Second World War, the American air forces dropped atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan. The consequences were extremely horrifying – thousands of innocent civilians were charred to death, buildings collapsed, flora and fauna perished, and the two cities were completely destroyed. Furthermore, children that were now born in these cities had genetic disorders, cerebral paralysis, physical handicaps and numerous other ailments. In order to prevent the reoccurrence of such a shocking calamity, the major political leaders of the world got together and formed the United Nations. Whenever an inter-national conflict arises, the UN steps in and tries to avert disaster. The member nations have to abide by whatever decision the UN makes regarding their policies towards one another. If the memories of the Second World War did not haunt us to this day, we would have forgotten the aftermath of war and probably such a tragedy would have occurred again.
At birth, a baby knows nothing about the world he has just entered. Everything is new for him. In fact, a baby initially sees inverted images of everything around him; it’s only by trial and error that the brain adjusts and corrects the vision thus enabling the baby to see correctly. He must learn to recognize his mother, father, siblings and relatives, to differentiate between hot and cold, to get his parents’ attention when required, and to sleep at night. As he grows up he learns to crawl, to say ‘Ma’ and ‘Pa’, and to entertain himself. Throughout his life, from childhood to an adulthood, he must learn about the world around him through his own experiences. For example, if he falls by taking a long step while walking, the next time he will remember to take short, steady steps. Thus he learns by trial and error throughout his life and his memories help him to develop mentally, physically and emotionally.
In conclusion, our memories are what define us and how we perceive the world. Without the memories of past experiences, we wouldn’t be able to progress successfully in our life’s endeavors. If we had no memories, there might have been another World War in our time, or in fact, you and I might not have reached where we are today!