Memory: What If We Could Control It?

History is important to me, and dementia runs in my family, so I often think about memory.

It’s one of those things we sometimes wish we could control.

Children’s author Lois Lowry explored that “what if we could” possibility when she wrote The Giver, and she talks about it in the following video. Thanks to Jane Heitman Healy for sharing the video with me.

What do you think of Lowry’s theory of what could happen to people if we controlled memory?


  1. Jane Heitman Healy

    This is a really provocative question. Certainly we would prefer to have only good memories. However, it is often through the bad or difficult parts of life that we learn and grow exponentially. This makes good out of bad, in a way. Memories are a great gift for writers, as we mine our thoughts & feelings at a certain point of our lives and use that to create realistic characters and situations. Thanks for this post, Deb. It makes me think!

  2. Deb Watley

    So true that good can come from difficult times/memories. How could we be empathetic if we didn’t remember what hard times felt like? It never clicked with me before, but writers are The Givers of our collective memories (and not just histories), aren’t we?

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