It seems that I have been subconsciously watching dreams of similar natures recently. Among them are Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Memento, both of which deal with memory loss. The implications of not knowing what happened this morning, yesterday, of ten years ago give rise to a great deal of controversy, mostly because people choose to dream of only the advantages and not the disadvantages.
Both movies suggest that memory is an integral part of living. Without it, we can never move forward from experiences. We just get stuck in repeat, making the same mistakes over and over again. However, this brings in to question what everyone who presently has their memories fully intact are doing.
People are constantly making repeated mistakes: diplomatic mistakes, relational mistakes, physical mistakes. These two movies show us how embarassing it can be to not know the same reality as another. You don’t think you’ve met this person before, but others know you have, and you are left being forced to laugh at yourself because you look ridiculous. But occurrences like these aren’t reserved for those with broken memories. Since we are lucky enough to have more or less complete knowledge of the things we do and the choices we make, shouldn’t we feel compelled to not follow in the footsteps of these people? Don’t we have a responsibility to use correctly the only thing that allows us to know who we are and what we’re doing?
I believe too many people take memory for granted. They throw it away with drugs or simply choose to make choices based on instinct or irrational thoughts. With alcohol, people often throw around sayings like “Drink responsibly.” How about a new one, “Think responsibly.”
Both movies are absolutely fantastic and definitely worth seeing once, if not multiple times.