Two Old Codgers

How the World strikes us

When you see television programmes of WW 2 veterans recalling their experiences the strongest memories seem to be when they recall emotions. Often they seem to be very strong characters who have their emotions firmly under control. However, when they recall life and death situations where friends and companions were lost, they find it difficult to speak, sometimes cry as powerful memories of how they felt at the time are brought to the surface.
WW2 Veteran

These emotional memories seem to take precedence over what might be described as more neutral events and can effect us physically. There have even been recorded instances where signs of ill treatment show on the body. For instance a British ex serviceman, when recalling his punishment inflicted whilst under hypnosis displayed red weals on his wrists where he had been bound whilst a prisoner of the Japanese.

Show your holiday photographs and your friends will see places and faces, you, on the other hand, will remember more subtle things such as the people you were with, the warmth of the sunshine, the taste of the food you ate and your sense of enjoyment.

Most of us can recall favourite television comedy moments - Andre Previn with Morecambe and Wise; ‘Four Candles’ with the two Ronnies; Captain Mainwaring in Dads Army. What is it we remember? Not necessarily the story or a particular episode, more likely simply being amused - another emotional memory.
Dads Army

One final anecdote to end with. The place where I worked had about a thousand visitors a week. When I was walking through the various rooms I would see someone walking towards me. I would be unable to recall the name but the face would be familiar. The first memory that flashed into my mind was what I would call an emotional memory. I would know instantly that previous dealings with the person I saw had been acrimonious, friendly or amusing. The details of what actually happened came later.

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