Sand or Spikes?

Posted by Ben Stevens on


This picture of me crying while one of my best friends and my sister look at me has an interesting past.  So often images from our childhood are actually the only memory we have of that moment.  I would guess most of us have things we don't truly remember but rather things we were told about our childhood that have become as real as memories.  One of those for me is about our dog Heidi growing up and how she bit me, piercing my ear.  I have heard that so many times but have absolutely no actual memory of the event but yet I have heard the story so many times it's like an actual memory.  Do you have any of those type stories from your past?  What are they?  

Specifically for that reason I love when I am sure of my own memories.  The picture above I have been told my whole life was because of my best friend throwing sand in my face.  I'm sure my friend did throw sand in my face a few times here and there as kids will be kids, but I remember this so clearly and it was not sand.  Even the picture supports my memory cause if it was sand my hands would be up in my face brushing it off.  I was crying because I had leaned outside of the sandbox as you see in the picture and my hand went directly on to one of those big leafy plants with the spikes, I believe Thistle.  

Now I must say I don't blame any of the people for telling me the story incorrectly, as we all do it.  We do our best to recall a specific event or time and formulate what we believe happened and it becomes our reality.  I have told the story a hundred times about my youth pastor stopping the car directly beside a girl I whistled at out the window.  He wanted to teach me that was not ok behaviour and made sure I got the point.  One of my friends not long ago made me realize it was not my youth pastor but one of kids program leaders and we were in the back of a truck.  The hilarious aspect of me telling you this is I honestly don't remember if I told the story as I just told you or if it was the reverse and my friend reminded me it was our youth pastor in a car.  

I think that's why it is so important to realize that it is far more common than we think to hear or be told things that just aren't true and it's not always intentional.  I think we have to realize that history does the same thing recalling what happened.  When I think of all the many ways we are attempting to erase the racist, misogynist, hateful things from our pop culture past, it makes me wonder what else humans have erased from history.  Don't get me wrong, I believe a lot of the inappropriate symbols being removed is important but we should be careful how much erasing we do or we will be bound to repeat history.  

I think the important thing is for us to remember that the majority of things we learn, hear and see are a combination of truth and lies.  Sometimes intentional and sometimes unintentional, which in my opinion means maybe we should be a little more relaxed.  So many people are firmly planted in concrete up to their necks when it comes to their views and what they believe.  Maybe it's an age thing but the older I get the more I realize I really don't know much of anything.  

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