It seems like the semester started just a few days ago; however, midterms are now upon us. Whenever students look at their test papers, they often blame their previous night’s actions. “Oh, what did my notes say? I read that part yesterday night. If only I’d paid more attention.” Our memory involves a complex mental processes. Sometimes, there are moments that one wishes to forget, and sometimes, there are moments one wants to remember forever. Along the same line, there are people we want to forget and people we want to remember. Memories are like coins; they are two-sided—things that are selected and kept and things that are lost and forgotten.
People read, speak, and listen all the time, but as the nickname of humanity—animal of oblivion—indicates things just “slip” our mind. Then, is oblivion really a tragedy to human beings? Remembering everything might in fact be a tragedy itself. People who are not able to forget an accident or a final farewell are often diagnosed with suffering from trauma. In this way, oblivion may actually be a great blessing to some people.
On the other hand, another intriguing aspect of memory is the idea that some things can be forgotten. People often long for others to remember themselves long after they are gone as the old Korean proverb shows, “Tigers leave only their skins when they die, but through achievements a person’s legacy lives.” However, at times, there is the desire to be forgotten. For instance, one Spanish businessperson claimed ‘the right to be forgotten’ in a case that went to the Court of Justice of the European Union. He wished to have all news-links on Google that contained his faults of the past deleted.
Memorizing something requires a complex mental operation. To be able to forget should not be blamed but regarded as a true gift. For whatever your reason, it may be less stressful to not linger on thoughts of trivial things which will disappear and toss away regretful moments that you wish others to forget. I sincerely hope your October, 2014 results in long-lasting and unforgettable memories, but at the same time, I hope you forgot memories that are irrelevant. I hope all walk with smiles when recalling the October of 2014.
Koo Kim Gyohyun / Editor-in-Chief