Do we selectively forget?

  • Post category:Psychology
  • Reading time:9 mins read
Easy to forget in the big network
Easy to forget in in the big network

I have come across many situations, where it seems that we tend to selectively forget. Topics or point of views to forget are many if not unlimited. They also cross wide variety of subjects; religion, consumerism, spirituality, politics, general gossip. There seems to be some special gene or cognitive behaviour we seems to have developed over time. I am not expert to comment if this is more biological evolution or cognitive/cultural conditioning. But, it seems to be present everywhere across the globe.

What do I mean by selective forgetfulness? In the context of this writing, let me use some examples. How many times have you come across those leadership lectures, videos, seminars or adverts that sound like “Everyone can be a leader”, “You can also be an entrepreneur”, “If I can do it then anyone can do it”. Does this sound familiar in “spiritual” context; “all are same, you just need to be aware of it”, “all humans are equal and share the same energy and potential”? In religious context; ” there is one god”. And of course it is not the statement of just one religion. You pick the dimension of business, religion, consumerism or even general daily topics, such statements are there. If my point is not clear, then may be spent a little time on these statements again.

Forgetting if leaders are born or trained

There are really big institutes that state on a regular basis that they “train” world class leader. They train people for sure, there is no denying it. But does everyone becomes a leader? Is there nothing in an individual that separates him from others. What if all become leaders, who will they lead? I am most probably not the 1st person to see it from this perspective. Still, world-wide such statements and adverts are common scene. Do these people who can make leaders do not see this flaw? Is the person who is going to enrol for the course do not understand it? If she does not, then is she really capable of becoming a leader? If she does, and still joins what is wrong? If she does understand and not join then did she miss the opportunity to be a leader?

In religious world also, there are many groups who say there is one God. May be there is one, I do not know. Problem is that there is another religion who also says there is one God. For some strange reason, he is not the same God. It was ok, till the time these groups were living separate lives and held their own believes in their own world view. But, what was missing when these groups got in contact with each other? They still say there is one God. But both or all are saying that it is my God that is the only God. Did they forget that there is only one God? Or did they not understand what it means by one God? Or was it they knew all along there is not one God, so they have to fight for their Gods supremacy, the same way they had to fight for their sheep, lands and women?

Many will argue in the modern society that Religion is dead; whatever it means is a different topic. But if not religion, then we need something else to hold on to. There are many alternatives. Spirituality, science, No-God/ atheism, nations, cultures or socialism, humanism, liberalism, capitalism and others. When we talk about Religion and God then today one of the main opposites is “Spiritualism”; again whatever it means. A lot of modern spiritualism goes on about the same topics of religion but in different bottles, books and rituals. Being aware is one “secret” used in many of spiritual communities. All humans are same, they just need to be aware of themselves/their real selves. There is no stopping anybody, just use “my” method of awareness and be happy and at peace. If all has the same potential, the same energy and same goal why only few exists that are trying to bring awareness to others. Why these are the people guiding others. One point again forgotten is that how is that one type of spirituality, method, techniques are better than others. Does that difference does not mean that people are different too?

We forget that plastic is not the only bad thing
When we talk about plastic usage and promote paper or other bags ….

These topics are interlaced too. Religion is old, they are just doing monkey fighting. Spiritualism is new, they are only trying to confuse people, but then what is that function that is working? If leaders can be trained, then why is it not possible to train leaders of Religion or spirituality to align with each other? Or this is not the topic of the leadership courses and materials. May be there are leaders created for different topics to keep some diversity. In that case it raise the same question again. If they are different, then how are they equal? Also, for the same leadership course, there are different schools and different methods. Which of these is the right leadership? If all is valid for everybody, then how one should select a given course. Another dimension to look at spiritualism/ peace efforts is that it has produced a lot of people that keep on talking about how much they want peace and how much they like to know their inner selves. You can be part of some group or just watch some videos. In parallel you can see that they keep on going from one group to another, one course to another in search for peace that is internal to them. They want to find time for themselves, but they keep on going out to learn how to do that, in almost never ending loop!

Do not forget that paper making can also be bad
We miss to picture the another scenario

People are equal, contains same potential, they just need to be trained. This is somehow a common practice in usual corporate world. This is the basis for annual appraisals as well. There are standard parameters and all need to be evaluated on the same parameters. If one fails on one point, then recommend him a training or just throw her into the field; after all falling and getting up is the best method to learn. On point is again forgotten, which is fundamental, that people are different. We know it from the very beginning, but we tend to selectively forget it when we have a certain topic in hand. Millions of people are evaluated on such standard based evaluation criteria and millions do it for others. They somehow play and live with these rules all the time. However, I am sure when all of them watch” This country Got Talent” they are always on the edge of their chairs and sofas and screaming, “this guy/girl/couple/group” is amazing! Why? Why did we forgot the standardization formula? If it is all about training then what is the place for Talent? If it was all for training then why we do not have more of Einstein, Nikola Tesla, Alan Turing or Buddha’s? They may be little complicated to train. Football is one game that needs lot of training and there are many trainers and many trainees, still there is only one Messi or Ronaldo.

There are many other examples and domains valid. Travelling, being a doctor, artist, engineer etc. Plastic vs paper bags, leather accessories vs animal rights,  animal farming vs animal cruelty, chemical vs organic vs GMO farming, even earth is flat vs round. I am not sure, what is the reason behind this selective forgetfulness. But, it is clear that we have certainly developed this characteristics where we can live with contrasting views in parallel, while still believing that we only trust in one selected view given certain constraints of topic, time and circumstances. But certainly, I am forgetting here about people with photographic/ eidetic memory.

Only to conclude one last example from a daily life of a salesman. If you talk to a salesman, you realize that there is not end of how much he can talk about sales, efforts, resource and top pf all margins. However, when you switch the sides and go to market, you will realize he will be the first to notice high prices and is always looking for cheaper deals. Although, it may come from the training of salesmanship, but questions is which part is not connected with other?

For me this topic has been a topic of amusement in general. Whenever, I come across such a scenario, it leaves a little smile on my face. The smile is biggest, when I find myself doing the same. Well, may be only next (re)evolution will solve/change/improve this behavior, but till that time, I can keep on smiling as there is abundance of it all around.



“I no longer have patience for certain things, not because I’ve become arrogant, but simply because I reached a point in my life where I do not want to waste more time with what displeases me or hurts me. I have no patience for cynicism, excessive criticism and demands of any nature. I lost the will to please those who do not like me, to love those who do not love me and to smile at those who do not want to smile at me. I no longer spend a single minute on those who lie or want to manipulate. I decided not to coexist anymore with pretense, hypocrisy, dishonesty and cheap praise. I do not tolerate selective erudition nor academic arrogance. I do not adjust either to popular gossiping. I hate conflict and comparisons. I believe in a world of opposites and that’s why I avoid people with rigid and inflexible personalities. In friendship I dislike the lack of loyalty and betrayal. I do not get along with those who do not know how to give a compliment or a word of encouragement. Exaggerations bore me and I have difficulty accepting those who do not like animals. And on top of everything I have no patience for anyone who does not deserve my patience.”  “Some person said it”