Perrie Halpern

Souvenirs. Moments that Make the Person

By:  Perrie Halpern R.A.  •  Personal  •  4 years ago  •  2 comments

Souvenirs. Moments that Make the Person

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A picture postcard
A folded stub
A program of the play
File away your photographs
Of your holiday

And your mementos
Will turn to dust
But that's the price you pay
For every year's a souvenir
That slowly fades away
Every year's a souvenir
That slowly fades away

Words and lyrics, B. Joel

Souvenir. From the French word meaning to remember. We collect souvenirs throughout our lives. Occasionally we take them out from their dusty boxes, the scrap books we carefully constructed, or the photo albums we put them in, and look at them and remember. But the real souvenirs are the ones that are not physical, not the ones that we can actually see, but the ones that made us who we are. They are the defining moment or moments of our lives. Yet, those we rarely look at.

I have come to the conclusion that the reason for this is that for most of us, these defining moments are not pleasant. They are times that brought us some pain. Humans are odd creatures in that, the events that make us who we are, were rarely welcomed events. With the exception of having a child or a grandchild, most of these moments that defined us as people were also the ones that brought us a level of discomfort or grief. They were thrust upon us, and the choices we made at those moments, changed us forever in some way. The human condition is such that we tend not to change by our own volition, but by circumstances beyond our control.

Tolstoy said that, "Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself." He also said,"Without knowing what I am and why I am here, life is impossible." For me, these are absolute truths. Yet very few of us, take a moment to look at the events of our lives and see, why we are who we are. Introspection is a skill that many of us lack. Why is that? Does it hurt too much to look back and see how the choices we made were either right or wrong? Do we not really like the person that we are? Is it too hard to question the values and principals today, which were based on these pivotal moments? Or is it just that these moments in themselves are just like opening up an old scar? If every year is a souvenir that slowly fades away....will we open the box that contain the souvenirs of the events in our lives and look in? Can you do that, and see how they made you who you are? And if we don't like who we are, can we change ourselves. Something to ponder.


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Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
1  Buzz of the Orient    4 years ago

That is a wonderful essay, introspective and revealing. I can think back to good choices and bad choices that I have made in my life. What I have found is that the moments in our lives that were traumatic in some way are easier to remember, notwithstanding that I learned in a university psychology course that the mind works to try to hide the unpleasant experiences in our lives.

Masters Participates
2  Enoch    4 years ago

Dear Friend Perrie: I concur with what Buzz wrote.

Nice images, essay and thought provocative.

Well dine.