via Daily Prompt: Mnemonic

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I was never a mnemoniac. They drove me mad, I’d glaze over, and inevitably never grasp the process. One of the few I could ever quote was “i before e except after c” or “In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.” Probably because it was short. I had the attention span of a drugged monkey. I’m still hazy about which months have thirty days, the mnemonic never helped “Thirty days have (white noise) …” In reality I couldn’t be bothered. Even now, memorising lists results in “Just shoot me.”

Mnemonic ( comes from Koine Greek: μνημονενμα) which meant – a record of the past, and so we promote memorising for learning. But, mnemonic also means to be mindful.

And so there is another form of mnemonic I do relate to, and that is learning from someone’s life. A person’s life can be a mnemonic or pattern that inspires. The names that have inspired me include: Martin Luther King Jnr., Rosa Parks, Maximilian Kolbe, Sir Edmund Hilary, Jesus, Buddha, Gandhi, Jimmy Carter, Simone Weil, John Muir, Dag Hammarskjold, the Dalai Lama, Parker Palmer, Aung San Suu Kyi, and so many others. I have taken something from each of them, something from their pattern of living, something that  inspires or makes sense. These people are living patterns, and through documentary, books, or watching them, I can see their way of being.

I’m not bothered how many days are in a month, but I am interested in mindfully attending to the wonderful examples of humanity around me, and learning from them.



Filed under community, history, life, mindfulness, Spirituality

21 responses to “Mnemonia

  1. interesting perspective on Mnemonia and leaning from other people. Some can learn from looking at the lives of others, some not. I admire very music Nelson Mendela as well as those you mention. Some of them I need to learn about as I have never heard of them. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Mnemonics are helpful to remember so many things. Your interpretation and taking this further is interesting. Thanks you for sharing your thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I concur with your powerful sentiments .. some names in there are also heroes of mine but some names are unknown .. thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Walt Whitman said that he had only a fair memory. Mine is not above average by any means. One is especially bad at remembering peoples’ names. Names and labels have all seemed rather superficial, (which they are). 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you for putting Jimmy Carter on your list. I love him.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. MNL

    i do think our minds are a bit like hard drives– they eventually fill up and don’t always erase all the way what we no longer need so it’s good to be thoughtful as to what you fill it with. I liked how you flipped it from mnemonics to remembering lives worth living.

    Liked by 1 person

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