Proust

I was reading this piece today and it made me ponder again something I’ve been thinking about on and off recently.

As we looked over our carefully assembled treasures, they still didn’t seem adequate for a great journey into the future. I had an idea: Why not each write the story of our lives? Whatever else we put in the tin, we knew this would make for good reading, especially if we’d forgotten our childhoods, like most adults we knew.

I’ve never understood it, but most adults seem to have no ability to remember anything about their childhood at all. Oh, sure, they might have specific event memories but they seem to have no recall at all of what it was like, how adults treated them like subhumans, and no memories of what it was like to be under the complete control of someone else.

This puzzles me, as I have very good recall of how that felt and how much I thought most adults were idiots (spoiler alert: I was right, they were). Might it be that adults must forget so they can allow themselves to treat children as poorly as they were treated?

Also, something I learned only later in life is that most people — the vast majority — are not very introspective or contemplative. Assumption of similarity bias, I know. I thought most people were mostly like me. I was wrong. Thus, if you are not very contemplative, you probably don’t even consider how you were treated and connect that to how you in turn treat young people.