Linda G. Hill

Life in progress

#SoCS – Meme + Memory

41 Comments

Sitting at the dinner table yesterday with my 22-year-old son, I mentioned the spider meme ( https://lindaghill.com/2016/10/12/one-liner-wednesday-i-thought-we-were-roommates/ ) I came across months ago that I found very funny, and he laughed at me. When I asked why, he said I was too old to be saying words like “meme.” So today I decided to look up the origin of the word.

Turns out it was first coined by Richard Dawkins in his book, “The Selfish Gene” in 1976, but he shortened it from the Ancient Greek word, mimeme, meaning “imitated thing.” (Wikipedia link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Dawkins#Fathering_the_meme ) HA! I can now say to my son. Though if I’m too old to say the word, how old does that make me? Still feeling a little weird about that.

Getting older is weird though. We have memories which give us the wisdom not to repeat our mistakes (with any luck) and yet our memory, or our capacity to remember, decreases with the shrinking of our brains. As much as I don’t like this, it’s inevitable. I either accept it or I fight it – fighting it takes so much more energy.

Having said that, I can fight it to some extent by continuing to learn and challenge myself. I wonder, often, if people who refuse to change their mindsets, form new opinions, or think they already know everything worth knowing lose their memories faster. I had an aunt who was very set in her ways. When she made a decision, she stuck with it no matter what. It might have been that she just hated making decisions so she got them over and done with as quickly as possible. But her decisions also were very predictable, because she never changed her preferences. She was stuck in a certain time, probably her childhood or early adulthood. I’m not sure I was born when she stopped trying new things. I always knew her as completely focused on the way things should be.

And, of course, the memories she shared never changed. The stories we all hear from our older family members are inevitably told as though they’ve never been told before. The polite thing to do is sound surprised, no matter how many times we’ve heard them. I wonder if people who are closed-minded have a narrower memory. Something my ever-learning mind will likely look into one day.

Now that I’ve veered totally off-course from my original intent for this post, I’ll have to go back and change the title. Coming up with titles for posts is hard, isn’t it?

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Author: LindaGHill

There's a writer in here, clawing her way out.

41 thoughts on “#SoCS – Meme + Memory

  1. A lot more people should observe the “don’t use a word if you don’t know what it means” rule, it would lead to a far more articulate and educated population, purely from the research involved.

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  2. I thoroughly enjoyed this πŸ™‚

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  3. Great post, Linda. You are spot on.

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  4. What a coincidence – my SoCS started off about memes too and then I ended up ranting about the language that kids speak nowadays. My son updates his whatsapp dp with memes regularly and I spend a better part of that day figuring out what on earth he means!

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  5. Your aunt makes me think of my father ! He was like her and on top he started every sentence with Β«at my timeΒ» as if he was already dead ! I swore to myself to never use this sentence ! In fact all what it meant was Β«when I was youngΒ»

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  6. I enjoyed this Linda, finding out stuff and with an air smugness informing your children of their obvious error is such a delight…lol

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  7. I wrote on memes today, too…

    For sure, listen to the old folks, and write their stories down.

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  8. I write the first sentence/line. Then maybe the title or maybe not. Titles are like the first line/sentence. They jump out or they hide, and I have to force them onto the screen. Often the title has nothing to do with the story. That’s how I amuse myself these days. Sad is it not.

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  9. I would be interested too to know if narrow-minded people have a rubbish memory! πŸ™‚

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  10. I’m afraid I use “cool” a lot. Horrible, but even though I’m old, I hope I’m a bit cool.

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  11. Of course I meant busy mind! But my phone has a mind all of it’s own!!!

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  12. A bust mind is a healthy mind! Well your son have you plenty to think about!! I love it that now you can clobber him with the facts! 😊

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  13. Great post, Linda. I hate thinking up titles. I used to write one, then veer off from it during the post. Now I just wait until the post is finished to come up with a title. The challenge now – remembering to write the title before posting *laughs*

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  14. When you get older, you find that some of the so-called “change” was tried 100, 200, 1000 years prior. I used to serve on a committee that helped advise a state agency and the governor.

    One of the men on the committee, a long-time member there from the very first, had to be 80 years old. We’d come up with what we thought was a great suggestion. In his gruff, no-nonsense voice he’s say, “We tried that before 30 years ago. Then we changed it to what we’re doing now.” Or he’d tell us that it was one of the things that had been tried 10 years ago and was a disaster.

    At first, I considered his repeated warnings an inconvenience. Then, over time, all the things he warned us about came true. I began to listen to him first. It kept us from trying to do the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. πŸ™‚

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  15. YES, titles are hard! Sometimes I start with a title, sometimes I add one at the end, and sometimes I think I know where I’m going but end up somewhere entirely different so my first title’s no good. Glad to know I’m not the only one out there!

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