Should Old Acquaintance Be Forgot?
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Should Old Acquaintance Be Forgot?

A reflection on memory and times gone by.

Should Old Acquaintance Be Forgot?
Carrie L. Lukas

This past weekend, we welcomed in 2017.

Most of us, I believe, welcomed 2017 with open arms. As the memes will tell you, 2016 was a rough one. Political turmoil and celebrity deaths seemed to be everywhere. Personal struggles only exacerbated an already trying twelve months. As early as July, Pat Rothfuss requested a “mulligan on [the] entire year.”

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m with Mr. Rothfuss on this one. A do-over on 2016 sounds pretty nice right about now.

Even if we can’t mulligan 2016, forgetting it sounds just as appealing.

As Saturday turned to Sunday and 2016 turned to 2017, many people gathered together, raised a glass, and sang the word of Robert Burns:

“Should auld acquaintance be forgot,

And never brought to mind?

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,

And auld lang syne!”

And as we sing those words, we question for a moment: should old acquaintance be forgot? Might it be for the best that we remember people and events that we wish we could forget?

In forgetting such things, we negate their importance in shaping who we are in the present.

Remembering our suffering prepares us to be compassionate to those who suffer similarly. Remembering the oppressiveness that permeates theoretically “good” systems reminds us that there is always room for improvement, especially when we pretend everything is okay. Remembering the hurt that we’ve inflicted on others stands as a personal testament to our imperfection and directs us to the reparations we must make, internal and external. Remembering the “auld acquaintance,” the childhood friends, the deceased, the former employers, the exes, the “toxic people,” the folks you left behind, acknowledges where you started and who got you to where you are.

So much to say, I don’t think we should forget auld lang syne.

Much as it pains us at times, it’s best we remember. We needn’t obsess or panic so long as we learn from what we remember. This isn’t an abstract learning; it’s a tangible, applied learning, demonstrative of growth and progression from who we used to be.

We remember for ourselves. We remember for others. We remember:

“For auld lang syne, my dear,

For auld lang syne.

We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,

For auld lang syne.”

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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