Do Images of The Past Influence Our Perception of The Present?

How reliable are our memories?

Jon & Caroline Cole | Ink-Stained Hearts
ILLUMINATION
Published in
5 min readNov 29, 2023

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With my younger sister and brother (Copyright: Ink-Stained Hearts)
With my younger sister and brother (Copyright: Ink-Stained Hearts)

My father used to film and photograph the three of us growing up: my brother, sister, and me. An 8mm film camera and slides. I remember sitting in the living room after a family holiday, the curtains closed, the whirring sound of the projector aimed at the wall. Those were the times!

But were they? How does what we experience in our childhood, throughout adolescence and adulthood color our view of the past? As you are well aware, there is no absolute or objective truth. What we perceive as such, is layered with our experiences and filtered through our subjective eye.

Try it yourself — you can do this at home

A simple test proves this: have a conversation/discussion with someone, play it back in your mind, and then tell the other person what has happened, and who said what. You will notice that another person has a perspective of events that might not align with yours. I remember in the far past, having had a discussion that sadly ended in a verbal fight — and how later, when that person and I tried to understand what had happened, we both had completely different ideas of (the order of) events and the cause of everything in the first place.

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Jon & Caroline Cole | Ink-Stained Hearts
ILLUMINATION

Writers | Vloggers Passionate about words, music, sports, and discovering places. Lovers of books, vinyl, and geeky stuff. Curious about life.