I watched two movies this weekend; Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind starring Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet and Paycheck starring Ben Affleck and Uma Thurman. Now while on first glance these movies have nothing in common one being sort of a relationship comedy and the other being science fiction there was one common theme that ran through both.
That theme was the voluntary erasure of your memory. In Paycheck, Affleck's character works for months at a time on projects and then has his memory of that specific period erased afterwards so that he has no memory of what he did. In Eternal Sunshine both Carrey and Winslet's characters erased memory of each other because they were unhappy with their relationship.
Now mind you even though I could poke major holes in both stories I'm actually just focusing in on the whole concept of memory erasure.
What if it was actually possible to erase certain experiences and memories from our brain like they did in these movies? Just got out of a bad relationship? Go to the doctor and wipe that whole period from your memory. Whoosh! Did something really dumb that you wish you hadn't. Get strapped into a machine, one press of a button and whoosh! Met someone you wish you hadn't and want to erase that memory? Put some new age contraption on your head and whoosh!
Pretty cool right? I can think of plenty things I wouldn't mind erasing and definitely a couple of people I wouldn't mind forgetting as I'm sure all of you can. Actually I'd probably erase years at a time. lol. However while it might actually make it easier to cope with life it most likely wouldn't really help you in the long run.
We are partially the sum of our memories and experiences. While it would be really cool to only remember the good times, you do need to remember those bad times as well because as the quote goes those who don't know their history are doomed to repeat it. So you make a mistake, erase it from memory but then somewhere down the line you make the same mistake again. Definitely not cool at all.
Still I'm sure if you're like me there are plenty of times where like that R Kelly song says you wish you could "turn back the hands of time" or at least forget one or two items from our past. It might appear to make life simpler and easier but would it actually be doing that? How different would the persons we are actually be if it was possible to do something like that?
Just something to think about.