As human beings, we have a lot of incredible abilities-- a lot of incredible gifts. Life, number one. Free will, number two. The ability to dream, number three. Another of those great abilities is the ability to remember. But it's something we rarely use as powerfully as we could and should. We remember at funerals, but why do we wait? It's so important to take a little time to remember each day. It's important to remember our own story, and it's important to remember the story of our relationships. Don't wait for tragedy to strike to remember. There are some essential truths that are critical to remember. For one, you matter. You are loved. You matter. You are of great value. But we forget that. I tell my children each night, "No matter what, no matter when, no matter where, Daddy always loves you." I never want them to forget that. If I tell them occasionally, they'll remember during the good times, but I want them to remember when they are confused and afraid, when their lives are turned upside-down.
It's important to remember your story. You've been through tough times before, and you weathered the storm. You've had many wonderful experiences in life. You have so much to be grateful for. But we forget. It's important to remember the story of your primary relationship. If I sit down for 15 minutes and look at photos of the life I share with my wife, think about the highs and the lows, it gives perspective to whatever our relationship is preoccupied with right now. This simple exercise makes me a better husband, makes me a better father, makes me a better human being. There is something about our story-- there is something about remembering that reminds me to pay attention. It's important to remember your children's stories, too, and to help them remember their stories. I love showing my children photos and videos of them when they were younger. I love telling them stories about their childhood. Remembering their stories makes me a better father, too.
Over time, they become curious about my life. It's a magical day the day they ask, "Tell me about when you were a little boy, Dad." I say to them, "Pick a number, and I will tell you about my life when I was that age." They love it. They're fascinated. A person who forgets his or her story goes mad-- literally mad. Couples who forget their stories become impatient with each other and grow apart. Parents and children who forget their story lose their tenderness. And a society that forgets its story is doomed to make the same mistakes over and over again. Take time to remember. It's a powerful gift.