While I was taking an online class (PSY 311), the professor, Dr. Golding, prompted us to think about what memory means to us and how it affects our lives.  At first, I thought about how memory enables me to pass a test, or beat a video game, function at work or in my social life.  After thinking about the question for some time, however, I realized that without memory we would be nothing more than plants.  As a species, we would have no consciousness and be essentially mindless.  Naturally, one hears about certain people who have lost the ability to remember their past or form new memories, but they still manage to have some sense of inner memory which enables them to survive. For example, we innately can remember which foods are poisonous and which ones are safe to eat.  Without such knowledge and memory, human beings never would have been able to compete with any other species who could remember such vital information.  After all, even animals have memory.  Pets know when they hear the can opener that dinner is coming or who their mother is.  Without memory, none of this would be possible.  We would be the mindless shades wandering about in Homer’s underworld, lacking any knowledge of their previous lives.  Memory enables us to be so much more than a plant-like organism.  In fact, our high capability of memory raises us up to one of the highest level organisms on this planet and allows us to accomplish the impossible.

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