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Inspirational and Insightful Quotations #81 - Memories (Memory)

Updated on September 18, 2015

Quotations on Memories (Memory)

To get the most out of life, one must have in mind the purpose of sharing it with others by generous living. The good of life so shared is compounded into a new currency which is left behind in the memories and hearts of others, and yet can be taken with one at one’s going. They who make others happier are on the way to ever happier eternal living.

---Edmund J. Kiefer, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., Nov. 25, 1956.

The memory of blessings furnishes a remedy for the blues.

---Elijah Powell Brown, Duluth Evening Herald, Duluth, Minn., Jan. 17, 1903.

Memory is a mountain that marks the landscape and makes all trails certain.

---Roy L. Smith, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., July 10, 1930.

The great experiences that come to you are not for once only, but they are capable of being treasured, repeated in the albums of the photographs of memory. I have entered sometimes a room of mirror, many sided, and on every side a looking glass, a mirror. My form was seen by my companion not once, but a hundred times. That is like memory. Stories are told of the wizards of an ancient time—you read of them in Tennyson—a man with a glass, or a burnished piece of steel that would reflect light, and he could blow upon the glass and wipe the breath from it and then see in it the faces of the absent and the distant. That is the divine power of memory that is given every one of you so that the joy of today may be reflected tomorrow and repeated for a thousand times; the faces that have passed from earth still live and speak and bless in this divine glass, this blessed gallery of the pictures of the past.

---William Goodell Frost, The Citizen, Berea, Ky., Sept. 26, 1912.

The illusion regarding memories of the past, although capable of giving much pleasure, is nevertheless most dangerous for any purpose of history. It needs to be corrected by sober judgment, before trust can be reposed in its utterances. The parallax between apparent and real experience needs to be determined, before our memories can be accepted as absolute standards of truth. The glamor with which memory covers the unpleasantness of yesterday is in one sense a good thing, but its evil tendency is that it makes our judgment of the past defective. Joy and happiness prove themselves perpetual by the way they impress themselves on the mind, while tribulation and sorrow are seen to be temporal in the fact that all memory of them fades away when they are past. We seem in fishing up the things of the past to drop out of our dragnet all the sand, the seaweed and the driftwood, and retain only the tinted shells, with brilliant exteriors, smooth lining of pearl, and when held to the ear sounding the soft murmurings of a receding and unwritten music, angelic and sublime. One effect of all this is good. Another effect is dangerous, and needs to be guarded against. If it serves to make us forget the unpleasant things of the past, well. If in any estimate it causes us to paint the past in brighter colors than it deserves, then croak over the present and despair of the future, ill. Fanciful retrospection is a good thing for sentiment. It is a very bad thing for fact. Solomon rebukes the people for saying “former days were better,” and tells them “in this ye inquire not wisely.” To inquire wisely in the matter of estimate between past times and present ones, we must take epochs. The movement of society is not like the current of a rapid river running unceasingly in one direction, but rather like the swing of the mighty ocean with the rising of the tide. One wave comes in, breaks, rolls back. A single glance shows no progress. Fix your eye for a half hour on one point, and you see with all that flux and reflux of the waves, a steady advance.

---George R. Van De Water, New York Daily Tribune, New York, N.Y., June 16, 1884.

Our days are really to be counted by their experiences, numbered by their meaning for our lives. Memory has its own calendar in which some days are unforgettable, other days lost in grey dimness. The heart has its calendar. We remember what we have loved or rejoiced in; the anniversary days of birth and death, the days in which we found or lost a friend. Our days are really numbered in what we make of them and what they make of us, numbered by growth in mind and spirit, by good deeds done and high service rendered, by true success and sometimes failure. The numbered squares on our calendars are useful, but the real measure of time is somewhere else, in what it has made of our souls. That is what time is for. Let us number our days in the true measure of their gifts and meanings.

---Gaius Glenn Atkins, Waycross Journal-Herald, Waycross, Ga., April 7, 1933.

Many are the bright pictures memory conjures up to illuminate life’s pathway, and God has given us this faculty of calling to remembrance the “light of other days” to help us endure our lives with better grace. These are echoes that reverberate back through our whole lives if we do not crush them out, and come back to us again to comfort us by their silent key notes of music, which only speak to the inmost heart.

—Blanche Beechwood, Woman’s Exponent, Salt Lake City, Utah, May 1, 1877.

Man’s soul is like a house that has many rooms. One of the most important of these is the room of memory.

When you begin speaking to a man you can readily detect the attention he gives to that room in his soul. You readily know whether he is decorating its walls with pictures that are beautiful and elevating to the mind and heart, or pictures that are ugly and demoralizing.

The things we store up in this room are what make our lives, form character, and lead to good or evil, to progress or stagnation, to victory or defeat, to blessing or cursing, to life or death.

The word “remember” is used about forty times in the Bible, calling attention each time to what we shall or shall not do—thus implying that this memory room of the soul needs careful guidance and counsel in its decorations and appointments.

We can always tell whether a man is concerned about this room of the soul by his conversation. He who is cautious in speech, as a rule, is a man who does not care to fill this chamber with rot and rubbish. He whose tongue, however, is given to gossip and malevolence cares not how this room is furnished, or how it looks.

If people were more concerned about the furnishings of this room, there would be far less trouble in the world.

If everyone always would remember that truth, though crushed to earth, will rise again; and always would, under all circumstances—in every position in which they may find themselves—speak the truth, they would never even have to remember what they said, and could always find more room to store away pictures that are helpful, inspiring, uplifting, wholesome, invigorating.

Every act we commit, every word we utter, every thought we think, leaves a picture on the walls in the room of memory. These pictures come back at times to haunt and to vex us.

Look back over your life. Look into the chamber of memory. Size up the pictures hanging there. What kind of a gallery do you find? Remember, on the final judgment day, all these pictures will be revealed to the world—and on them depends your reward.

---John Peter Janett, Milwaukee Sentinel, Milwaukee, Wis., May 8, 1929.

If memory ever should be tenacious it should be in the recollection of kindnesses, courtesies, friendly considerations already accepted.

Yet so often one lets a single disapproved remark or a single disapproved act count for more than past years of kindnesses, courtesies and friendly considerations.

It is not unusual to see a friendly relationship exist for fifteen years or more only to be terminated because one of the friends becomes slightly incensed as some remark or act of the other.

It hardly seems just and fair to take one disapproved remark or to take one disapproved act and to let it wipe out all recollection of fifteen years of kindnesses, of fifteen years of courtesies, of fifteen years of friendly considerations.

This is all the more true because we are all human. It would be superhuman to have every remark and every act meet with the unqualified approval of another.

It is even yet all the more true because it is to be doubted if a person after having been kindly for fifteen years, after having been courteous for fifteen years, after having been considerate for fifteen years purposed the disapproved remark or the disapproved act. The chances are that the remark was made and the act was committed without the slightest idea that it would be disapproved by the other person.

Men take a great deal of pride in being just and fair. Justice and fairness are regarded as manly qualities. Yet often the same man who is scrupulously fair and just in business matters will be outrageously unfair and unjust in personal relationships.

Surely it is fair and just to measure another by the average. If you have associated with another for fifteen years, is not the fair, just measure the average of kindness, the average of courtesy, the average of friendly consideration for those fifteen years? Surely the fair, just measure is not the amount of kindness, the amount of friendly consideration in one particular act of the sixteenth year of the association.

A man who would scorn to be unjust or unfair about even one penny in a business transaction will not hesitate to be unjust and unfair about remarks and acts in a personal relationship.

---Henry Arnold “H.A.” Stallings, Waycross Journal-Herald, Waycross, Ga., May 22, 1935.


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