Remembering: Or, How to paint the past
“The more you remember something, the less accurate the memory becomes.” -Jonah Leher
The idea here is that each time you recall an event from the past, you recreate it differently. You might exaggerate some parts or leave others out. You might do this on purpose sometimes, but for the most part, it happens automatically. It’s not like you’re lying to yourself – it’s just the nature of imperfect memory.
Like Scott H. Young said, “It’s as if, each time we remember, we are not consulting a photograph, but re-painting a scene.”
So if you leave the memory alone, according to this theory, you’ll recall the events more accurately later, as opposed to if you replay them over and over again in your mind throughout the years.
Thing is, which is better, accuracy or imagination? The photo or the painting?