The Past Versus The Present

August 25, 2011

by — Posted in Personal Writing

Last night, in regards to the story I posted yesterday, Xie asked me why am I always writing about the past.   My answer is that I want to get enough down that if I ever become famous someone can write a pretty authentic biography.   The conversation did also move into my belief of preserving the past.

My blog and my mail archive are going to be passed down to my son or grandchildren to do with however they want.   In theory my great great great grandkids are going to know my stories in my own words.   I will live on.   I would absolutely kill to have the stories similar to yesterday’s written by my great grandparents.   I would love for them to have enshrined their thoughts and stories is something more concrete than oral tradition.

Oral tradition only holds tales that are second-hand.  We all played telephone in elementary school and saw how the message can change.   So we have to worry about how many details they might get wrong.  We also have to worry about evolutionary dominance.   The strongest stories are the most memorable and they are the ones that survive.   So that means your strongest stories – whether they are about the best or worst of you – are going to be the ones that define you in the eyes of those that come after you.  Recording it yourself – and regularly – let’s you combat that a bit.   It allows your details and emphasis to come through.  It also will help maintain a well-rounded view of who you are as a person.

I did write about my Apple TV 2 adventure today, and might write something about when I was twelve tomorrow.   It’s all about balance and recording yourself.   Think of it as the diary you are willing to share with everyone.    I can only hope my son records down all the stories about me that I don’t remember to do myself.

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