Unlike digital memory, human memory does not retain things as they are. And, it is not enough that the event occurred in recent past for us to have a clearer view of it. Like for example, around 10 days back- I shared a walk, conversation, dinner table, and tea with this person. My memory of it now is seemingly sharp. For instance, I remember what turns were taken, what all was observed in passing, topics of conversation and points of laughter, moments of doubt and points of irritability. An year later, I am sure- much of this would fade away, and I may remember it as a nice evening I once had. Five years later, I might even forget that. Or mix the memories of this day with that.
Despite it’s muddling of affairs, we often hear that time is the greatest teacher. That is because with time, we begin to look at some of our memories differently- not as events but as statement of character. For some reason, the ‘I’ of recent past, becomes ‘him’ of the time long gone. Earlier I thought complicated thoughts are what we are here (or ought to be here) to give other people- now, I know better, and realise that the primary thing we should give others is care and love.
The reverse may also happen- when we find the good aspects of our character (like sense of humor, charm, the ability to be happy by little joys and kindness) not naturally present in our current self. I read somewhere, that memories are a form of personal art that all of us fill our life with, and just as how we examine ourselves after a good film or a good book- a night with memories, or a conversation reminiscing things almost never fails to create something inside us.