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Chaplain: Write to Remember

By Allen Teal, Chaplain

Oh, that my words were recorded, that they were written on a scroll, 24 that they were inscribed with an iron tool on lead or engraved in rock forever! (Job 19:23-24, NIV).

Writing rarely seems to come naturally for most people. If parents could make their children write everything from age two through adulthood, writing would be more normal than talking. When it comes to recording things for future recollection, writing beats talking every time. Writing is possibly the single best memory tool ever invented by humans. Recording your thoughts, memories and dreams in writing preserves them for you and your descendants.

To remember the past, keep a journal.

Journaling provides a vehicle for remembering the small events and current points of view in your life. It also becomes an outlet for your emotions, including times of joy and times of frustration. A journal or diary preserves the memory of people and things that only were present in your life for a short time. Adding a picture here and there enhances the memories.

To accomplish your goals, write them down.

Recording realistic goals in writing makes the odds of achieving them go up dramatically. Writing goals provides them shape and attaches them to a plan. It also keeps them in front of you so they do not fall by the wayside. As you reach various goals, a sense of accomplishment will come from crossing them off your list.

To keep your appointments, learn to record what you need to remember.

People who struggle with memory issues find that maintaining lists of important items improves their personal performance. It is easier to remember to maintain and check a list than to recall everything on it from memory. Start each day by copying the leftovers from yesterday onto today’s list. As the day progresses, mark off the items that are no longer needed and add the new ones that come along. For tasks or appointments in the future, keeping a calendar or planner handy assists you in remembering commitments.

Your writing does not need to be eloquent to be effective. Write consistently and with purpose. Record your goals, your deeds and your plans. At the least, you will improve your ability to remember what is important. Who knows, your words may benefit your life and the lives of others who may someday read your words.

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