Thursday, August 16, 2007

A Lost Art

Remembering is a regular "trip" for many people. Some dip into those past experiences daily. But what if memories, our childhood or other memories aren't accessible?

What are memories, but the records of events that we can repeat over and over again. Often they are the positive things we've accomplished or experienced, but not always. Sometimes they are the nightmares that haunt us. But whatever they are they are what make up who we are every day of our lives from how we treat people to how hard a worker we are.

Memories are also how we know much of our history. If we look back at Queen Elizabeth I much of what we know about the happenings of her court come from the diaries and ledger from the period. What we know of the early European settlements in America come from the writings and records that have come down through the years to us. Some of it comes from letters that were written, or journals and diaries that were kept.

But today we have little to pass down to future generations because we all have progressively written less and less. Today the normal person does not journal or write long snail mail letters that might get saved, but instead create short emails that give little real information about our everyday lives. Some of our best information about even the Viet Nam War come from the letters home written by service people. It seems that no one really even wants to write anymore. There are writers like J.K. Rowling who inspire young readers, but few seem to want to emulate her.

The English teacher in me wants to rattle a cage or two to get people to somehow realize that we are losing something precious - Good writers who care about the written word. But the main question is how do I do it? How do we, as a nation refocus on writing as well as math and science?

No comments: