Recently I was thinking about the Great Recession, which is not unusual for me, and realized that some day, years from now, it will end. Then, I thought, I can get beyond it, get it out of my mind . . .
. . and I realized I was looking forward to forgetting about the Great Recession. I was looking forward to the days I was no longer worrying about my friends and their jobs. I was looking forward to no longer analyzing the impacts of these terrible times on our economy, our psychology, and our souls. I was looking forward to forgetting.
I realized then and there, I was wrong. I should not forget it. Ever.
Neither should you and yours, neither should anyone.
We should not forget the pain and agony caused by short-sighted politics, greed, stupidity, and often-deliberate ignorance. If we forget, we will repeat ourselves or allow others to repeat themselves, and we will have the pain and agony all over again.
We should not forget what we did to survive, what we did to help others survive, and what they did to help us. If we forget, we forget the impact of the Great Recession, we forget the dire straits it puts us and others into, and we forget just how others helped us survive.
We should not forget the impact of the Great Recession on our countries and communities, on our history and our future. To forget this is to forget that the decisions we make – and what we do not choose to act on – will affect us and others.
We should not forget those who brought this about, the politicians and financiers, the pundits and con-people, the fools and the smart-but-unethical. We may forgive, such people may engage in honest repentance, but to forget is to risk letting them – or those like them – repeat this history.
So you know what? Forget this forgetting. The pain may dull in time, the horror may be diminished, but let's keep around our memories of the Great Recession, a nice burning point of suffering. That way we won't let it happen again.
Not much of a geeky career subject? We geeks are good at having long memories and maintaining a mental storehouse of information. We'll be good at not forgetting.