Memory is a funny thing.
A lot of what can come to mind is triggered by looking at pictures from ones past, or in conversations with old friends and comrades.
The Number Game.
The average adult English speaker will know between 15,000 to 23,000 words.
Yet the more interesting question is
– How many people does the average person physically meet in a lifetime?
– Just how many of their names do we tend to remember ?
What complicates this is knowing so many people with the Same First names, or Surnames.
That’s never mind all the campaigning groups, organisations, NGOs, or public bodies one has had contact with over the years.
Then there are the names of films one has watched, titles of books one has read, and places which one has visited over the years.
So just remembering all of these names is something which comes down to almost being able to list them all as if by rote.
Memory not gone, but fewer day by day triggers to set it in motion.
As I keep growing older there is more of my past to recall, yet there is a catch to this which I have discovered of late.
There are not the same people around me to talk over the events of yesteryear.
That’s especially so given that I have had something like 20 jobs and lived in the same number of places over the years.
While many of the people I knew in my youth are dead, lost contact with, or have moved on to different locations around the world.
So knowing how to look up these names has becomes much more important to me with the passing year.
Mispronouncing the past.
Of course just to confuse any persons name by pronounce it in the wrong way can be something of a problem.
Thus the right name can be lost to one – at least in the very short term.
For example: – by saying ow when it sound of been ov,
or thinking that it starts with Ph while it should be Th.
So one does need to keep this in mind.
Reminiscing with ones old friends and comrades.
One of the joys of seeing old friends is to talk over what we did in the past.
The old comrades getting together, and talking about the previous campaigns they were involved with, is one of the best aspects of being a long term activist.
That is where the collective memory which comes in to play.
Between us we can remember more people and events than as isolated individuals.
One of the excuses being by the Met as to why some of the cover names of former spycops should not be publicly revealed by the ongoing public inquiry in to undercover policing, is that they very frail and have impaired memories.
They can not be expected to remember exactly what they did in the past!
It’s a wonderful excuse for maintaining a situation whereby they will not be held accountable for their actions.
Yet that is just an excuse.
There is still a need for those of us who were spied upon to know just who they were,and exactly what damage they did at the time.
Once we have those undercover names, then the real memory challenges will need to be done.
Without that there can be no social justice.