Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Being absent-minded – The Hindu

Though setting reminders on the phone will help in tackling the long-term schedules such as paying bills, it is not of much help in day-to-day affairs.

Though setting reminders on the phone will help in tackling the long-term schedules such as paying bills, it is not of much help in day-to-day affairs.
| Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

The adage, “No one is perfect,” fits us, the mortals, to a ‘T’. We all are born with certain qualities: positive (studious, religious) and negative (greedy, selfish).

There are, of course, certain qualities which cannot be branded as either positive or negative.

There is a tribe of people born with one such quality, and are found all over the world, cutting across nations, continents, sex, races, age group and the like: the absent-minded people.

Absent-minded people follow all tricks to remember things: writing on the palm of the hand, scribbling down a to-do-list on a piece of paper, storing in cellphones. Still, the success rate is abysmally low. Though setting reminder on the phone would help in tackling the long-term schedules such as paying bills, it is not of much help in day-to-day affairs, as some work would crop up in the middle of nowhere. Well, I could dole out some of the techniques followed by the tribe because I, myself, am a pathetic, life-long member of it.

Out of curiosity, I googled famous people who were absent-minded, and the list was mind blowing. It included the likes of Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein and Archimedes. Though comparing ourselves with those legends is blasphemy, I console myself with the fact that even such people were victims of this weakness.

People usually say it is just priority that plays an important role in remembering things. Though we prioritise our work, if we forget even the top-most priority, what to say of the rest? It is not lethargy or inattentiveness but it is our helplessness beyond our control.

There are people who have an extraordinary memory power even in their old age. It is a blessing to be born with such a quality. Today, absent-mindedness is commonly seen even among the younger generation. In this competitive world, where each second counts, certainly, it is a big challenge to overcome this defect and compete with others.

I envy the protagonist of the movie Ghajini the most because the hero could remember events for “15 long minutes”, whereas I am not blessed with such a “strong” memory. When, even in my mid-forties, I struggle with this defect, I wonder what is in store for me in my old age.

However, a helping hand could be extended to the absent-minded people, by family members and friends, by alerting them through a phone call or SMS or the like. The kind of trauma that absent-minded people undergo cannot be explained in words. Many a time, the work is revisited; resulting in huge waste of time and energy, and sometimes money too.

The world is full of people with different challenges, both physical and intellectual. People with absent-mindedness could at best be called “memory-challenged”. Just like others, we too need little comforting words when we forget things. In the parlance of the millennials and Generation Z, what we have is a “manufacturing defect”. It is not our fault wholly too. After all, no one is perfect in this world.

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#absentminded #Hindu

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