Many of this year’s client newsletters will include articles revolving around the theme of “memories.” When we talk with our clients, we realize that many of you have done and experienced some amazing things. We’d be happy if you’d share in our “Memories” theme by telling us about some of your memories. If you’ll allow us publish them in our client newsletter, that’d be great.
First, let’s stop and admit the obvious: some will find it strange that a carpet cleaning company is addressing the topic of “memories”. If this were a psychiatrist’s office, no one would bat an eye. If this business were a funeral home, everyone would understand it. But why Ideal Carpet Cleaning? Well, it’s because we think there’s a need out there… to adapt Rabbi Hillel’s famous saying, “If not us, then who? If not now, then when?”
Our long-standing clients know our newsletter isn’t just about cleaning (in fact, it’s usually not at all about cleaning). The newsletter’s goal is to inform and entertain. It could be said that the “memories” theme is taking that one step further and aiming to enlighten. In today’s world, we’re usually so busy rushing ahead as fast as possible that we don’t often stop to think about how far we’ve come.
Even if you don’t want to share your memories with us, we’d urge you to share them with friends and family. And perhaps the best way to share memories is by writing memoirs. This month’s article is the first in a series about memoirs. It focuses on why to write
The rich and famous have incentives to publish their memoirs: they can make money (often with almost no effort: sometimes, memoirs are ghost written by an aspiring author who gets paid to do the real work but gets no credit) and they can take revenge on others. Of course, the attempt to take revenge can also back-fire spectacularly, as we’ll discuss in a future article in this series.
We contend that memoirs aren’t just for the great and the (not so) good, though. Each of us has a unique story to tell, wisdom to impart and a perspective on the world that’s lost when our memories are lost. Written memoirs are a valuable gift to children, grandchildren and even further descendants. It’s been said that a wise man learns from his mistakes but an even wiser one learns from others’ mistakes. Learning from others’ mistakes is easier when those others are family – people with whom we have a deep, permanent connection.
Historians, too, can learn a lot from what “regular” people experienced, how they lived and what they thought. More and more, historians are learning the place big, well-known events have in the lives of normal folks; how people in general shaped the lead-up to those important events and impact those events had on their lives. And, today, the risk of what’s written down (electronically) being lost in a move or a disaster is lower than ever.
Sir Winston Churchill once stated that to engage in public speaking was to change the world in some way, however small. I’d argue the act of down your memories is also a way of changing the world.
About this Series
This article’s purpose is to motivate you to write your memoirs. Later articles in this series will discuss how and where to start writing, how to persist and keep at it. We’ll also look at some of the legal issues and the technological decisions you can make when writing your memoirs. If you’re already motivated to start, let me give you a very brief sneak peek: start with some anecdotes, written electronically (the format usually doesn’t matter as long as it’s accessible), keep it backed up on a separate physical medium (e.g. in addition to saving to the computer or tablet, keep it on another device or on the Internet) and, for now, don’t show it to anyone (you’ll see why in an upcoming article, when we get a lawyer’s overview of the legal issues)!
About the Author
Anil Balaram has been Ideal Carpet Cleaning’s part-time Marketing Manager since 2015. Born in Montreal, Anil grew up in Ottawa and works full-time as a software engineer. He and his wife have three children.