A few weeks ago, I had a discussion with some students about memories and joked that I was pretty sure there were some that I wouldn't have a problem letting go of--mistakes made, lies told, injuries occurred.
Very quickly, they disagreed. Memories are what makes us who we are. The bad times (and the good times) are what shape us, what give us direction in life, and what helps us balance out the next move we want to make as we face decision after decision after decision.
I've never had the best memory for things that I wish I had them for. I've been great at remembering birthdays (a plus in a life before Facebook), at remembering phone conversations, at remembering details about someone's life. I've been terrible at remembering class lectures, readings, notes that I took (I love open book tests, and hate test-taking generally).
In my job, it's important to remember a lot. Remember to email, remember to post on Facebook, remember dates, appointments, meetings, calendars. But one of the most challenging, especially in the beginning, is remembering names. Names are important, helping to shape a person's identity, and people genuinely like it if you can greet them by name ("Hey _______!" is a million times more effective than just a "Hey!"). Think about it--when someone remembers something about you, whether it be your name or a small detail of your life, you feel special. Because someone took the time to remember something about you. I'm still working on it--and I get most names relatively quickly--but think of this post as just a quick reminder to remember...and then show the people that you speak with that you genuinely are interested in them as individuals.