Preserve Your Memories

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Memories matter!

We all have a box full of old images or audio that tells a story about your whänau. Traditional waiata documents our history, and recalls the past through mentions of tupuna, major hui or events and places in Aotearoa.

But imagine losing those precious taonga to the passing of time: water, fire or damage. Your important documents and voice recordings, words and waiata can still be restored and preserved for generations to come by digitally storing them.

This is a great read to the reasons why we might consider thinking about the importance of preserving our taonga.

Memories are a very important part of our lives and make us who we are. However, they can also be quite fickle and fleeting. Even the memories of big events can deteriorate over time if not properly tended to. This is why it's so important to preserve your memories. Without preserving your memories, even the most important moments in your life will begin to fade over time. Luckily, between photo albums and time capsules, there are plenty of wonderful ways to preserve your most precious memories for all eternity. This guide explores the importance of preserving all your cherished moments, from the big celebrations to the everyday wonders.

Remember lost loved ones

One of the most popular reasons for preserving memories is to remember the life of a lost loved one. Though they may no longer be physically present, their spirit and life can continue to live on through photographs and videos forever. Looking back on old photos of your loved one makes it seem like they're somehow there with you once again. It allows you to remember them as they truly were, full of life and love, rather than remembering the sadness that accompanied their passing. It also allows you to contemplate your favorite moments spent in each other's company. A picture is worth a thousand words, after all, and looking back on photos of your loved one allows you to remember all the laughter and stories you shared together. Videos can also be incredibly valuable in remembering a loved one. They allow you to hear their voice and see their smile one more time, and what could be more valuable than that?

Carry on your culture

Culture is an ever-changing enigma that shifts and adapts with each generation that passes. Culture also plays a large role in many families. As such, preserving your memories not only holds emotional significance, but also cultural significance. Old photographs of your ancestors show how your culture has progressed over time and helps remind you of the importance of honoring your heritage. Such photos and videos may provide insight into culturally significant clothing, recipes, songs, and celebrations. It allows you to more clearly see the link between your family's cultural expression then and now. In looking back at old photographs and videos, you may even discover certain traditions that have since fallen by the wayside. Reviving these traditions is a fantastic way to keep your culture alive and to ensure that it will continue to persist for future generations.

Create an oral history

Culture and history often share a very close, nearly inextricable connection. Preserving memories not only shows how your family's culture has changed but also how life as a whole has transformed throughout history. Preserved family videos help create an oral history that is more interesting and personal than any textbook ever could be. Even if you don't have old family videos, you can begin creating your own oral history today. Interview some of the older members in your family and ask them about what life was like when they were young. Start with a few simple questions to get the ball rolling. Chances are they will have more than a few interesting anecdotes to share, and you can simply lose yourself in the conversation. You may even discover some interesting details about your own family while creating this oral history.

Pass on memories for posterity

As important as preserving memories is for reminiscing on with past generations, it's equally as important for teaching future generations. Preserving your memories means that future generations will be able to look back on your life with the same fondness and intrigue that you have when remembering your own ancestors. However, your future generations will likely have an easier time of it than you did. Rather than looking through old photographs and outdated film reels, your future generations will be able to reminisce over your life with the simple click of a button. As technology continues to move toward digital media, it becomes all the more important that you digitalize video and old photographs. Doing so will ensure that your memories remain long after the physical photos and film reels have deteriorated. It will also make it far easier for future generations to share said memories with their own friends and family members, ensuring that your memory is never lost or forgotten.

Connect with younger generations

Preserving your memories for future generations can operate on a much more personal level as well. Not only will doing so allow your ancestors a hundred years down the line to see how you once lived, but it will allow your children and grandchildren a more in-depth view of your life. Just as your grandparents regale you with stories of their childhood, you will eventually be able to do the same with your own family members. Sharing these memories and moments with your children and grandchildren helps create a stronger, more personal bond between family members. It allows them to see you as a real person with real hopes and fears, rather than simply as their parent or grandparent. The moments spent delving into old family photos is yet another memory that ought to be preserved forever.

Memories matter!

At the end of the day, the biggest reason why it's important to preserve your memories boils down to one simple statement: memories matter. They remind us that we are all human and are all connected, even if only in the littlest ways. Photographs and videos allow us to look back on all the most special occasions in our lives. Not only the large events that necessitate fanfare and celebration, such as weddings, graduations, birthdays, and anniversaries, but the little moments of wonder as well. Life is full of ordinary joys, but these everyday wonders are often overlooked and forgotten as quickly as they come. Preserving these moments, even the instances that you may not think require a backward glance, assures future generations that every moment can be special and every moment is worth living. 

What would life be if not for the little everyday joys, after all?

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Friday, 19 July 2024

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