As I looked up the milliliters to cup conversion for the thousandth time since we have been in Europe, my husband said, “Why don’t you just memorize it?” To which I replied, “There is no space for such things.”
We laughed but as I was stirring my risotto, laced with aging parmesan, for what felt like hours, I thought about what I am intentional about remembering. Many things go in one ear and out the other whereas other pieces of information are a part of me so vividly. What accounts for this difference?
I find there are categories of things worth remembering that are directly tied to what I value most. The rest is just noise and information I seek out temporarily and then release. I get cranky when forced to remember things I don’t value. It is not that I can’t memorize the periodic table of elements, or that I don’t see its value in the world, but I just don’t want to store it in my brain. Isn’t this the gift of the information age? The gift of having the information at our fingertips gives us the freedom to forget that which only holds temporary meaning to us personally.
What I choose to remember will never be exactly what you choose to remember. Instead of one of us being wrong, wouldn’t it be great if we used each other as resources? What if we agree to give ourselves permission to intentionally forget and trust ourselves enough to remember what matters most to us individually. That way there will always be someone that knows the answer, but everyone will approach the problem differently because of what they value and therefore what they retain. That, to me, is a learning community.