Painful Memories That Shape Our Lives


This is the time of year when the world remembers those who fought and died in the two great world wars of the 20th Century. The Poppy that we wear with pride signifies our support for those who gave so much for us, so that we could live in peace and freedom.

The Poppy represents the fields in France, where so many perished which are to this day. Many people in The UK will stop for 2 minutes silence on the anniversary of the end of World War One:

The 11th hour of the 11th Day of the 11th Month, which is Monday 11th November this year 2013.

Although I will be working in the far east, I too will take two minutes at that time, wearing my poppy and remembering how the selfless acts of people I don’t know still have a profound effect on how our lives are shaped in the modern age.

For example: Germany’s reaction and decision-making during the recent Euro Zone monetary crisis was shaped by events in World War Two. The hyperinflation that took place then is still ingrained in the long-term memories of the nation, so much so that Germans were never going to “bail out” the Greek economy and perhaps trigger a monetary crisis of inflation and lost jobs.

Here in the UK, we often amend our actions to ensure that the legacy of our armed forces and the hard-fought-for gains in democracy and liberty are retained and never given away lightly even though security and surveillance demands erosion of these liberties. We stand up for the underdog and demand a “fair fight” when it comes to big business, for example.

We will never know how many wars or major conflicts have been averted because of the effects of these two wars, where leaders were determined not to repeat the mistakes of the past.

We all know that personal painful memories also have a dramatic effect upon our behaviour. If you are with me for instance, you will be very safe crossing the road. This is because I am very respectful of traffic when crossing: I was run over by a double-decker bus when I was a youngster! I am sure you have personal examples where your painful memories shape your behaviour today. They are necessary and a good way of regulating our decisions and behaviour. Just don’t let events in the past define you. Learn from them, for sure. But make sure that you focus on the future.

Have your best week ever!

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