Sands of time… If each grain of sand is a day in the life of a person, who remembers each and every single one of it? Who can distinguish one day from the other if the day wasn’t yesterday, max a week ago? Unless is was a very special day, of course.
More people than not, at one time or another, wished to have a better memory — more retentive, more detailed, more backward-reaching too — memory that would give them access to the past.
It’s our own life, isn’t it? We lived every minute if it. Why can’t we remember and account for every moment of it? How many of us can?
About 20 people can, actually. Not 20 thousand. Just 20. Some research, however, says the number is 55. These people have HSAMS. HSAMS is an acronym of Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory Syndrome or hyperthymesia (excessive remembering.)
For these people the day-by-day of their lives days, month and years ago is no blur. They don’t ever forget. Their lives — in all entirety, to the last instance — forever staffed in their brains.
The past — so visceral, physical and unshakable — gets in the way of present. It overwhelms. Always available past lures the person to hide from today in, say, June 3, 2000, or any other day for that matter. They remember them all. Some — from the age of about 4, others claim ever earlier times. It’s like having a time machine available to take you to the past on the whim. But human life is no science fiction. We must LIVE in the present, not zoom out of it into the past, to relieve a more pleasant times.
There’s a reason why we forget.
“It has long been believed by research scientists that forgetting is adaptive,” says James McGaugh, the University of California, Irvine neurobiologist. Dr. McGaugh was the first who documented HSAMS.