“His mind was a storehouse of knowledge, of which he had lost the key.”
There comes a time in the life of every one, when he realizes with something of a shock that his memory is slipping. Reluctantly, he must admit that his memory is not so good as it was; that his mental grip is slipping a little. He notices this at intervals, and at first thinks it is an accident when he forgets some detail, but when this occurs repeatedly and he finds himself utterly unable to recall some important fact which he knows perfectly well and should be able to recollect instantly, he is forced to the conviction that his memory is really beginning to fail.
HOW FAILING MEMORY KILLS AMBITION
This is very disconcerting, and in some cases almost tragic. It is a sad day for any one, who has a spark of ambition, when the realization comes home to him that any mental faculty is not so keen and strong as it has been. Yet thousands and tens of thousands are facing this realization of a failing memory every day. Al-though the majority never become reconciled to it, very few have the initiative and enterprise to overcome the difficulty. And herein lies the real tragedy. For if any individual blindly accepts the bitter fact, and allows his memory to continue to slip, or to drift for itself, it steadily grows weaker and a gradual mental deterioration follows all along the line. Worst of all, the negative suggestion of failing powers is most de-pressing and tends to kill any ambition for further achievement in life. No man will go much farther or higher after he admits to himself that he is losing his mental grasp, and that probably nothing can be done about it. He is done, as far as farther progress in life is concernedhe is over the hill and following the downward trail. Only a vigorous right-about-face, followed by regular intensive mental discipline will save him. Surely if there is any comfort in company he need not despair for there is a multitude like him, ,and many of them are mourning over “a thousand lost memories.”
Is it a matter of age? Or of health? These are factors in the case, to be sure, but not the determining factors. Or must we blindly bow to the fatalistic doctrine that man rises like the sun to his’ meridian, and then at a certain fixed time, his course inevitably declines and he wanes from the zenith of his power until his little day sets
It cannot be this, for a failing memory afflicts people of all agesoften we see a white-haired father with a keener memory than his son. The annals of history are rich with the lives of brilliant men who did the work of intellectual giants after they were sixty. Nor can it be a matter of health entirely, for often we see invalids with remarkable memories and the keenest intellectual power.
It is evident that we must delve deeper for the true underlying cause of this great mental affliction. In doing so, we are dealing with a subject of vital interest to a vast number of people, for it concerns not only those whose memories are slipping’ but also those whose memories never have been good. In reality, there are three classes of people to be considered: those who have had poor memories from childhood, those who have always had mediocre memories, and those who have had excellent memories which are now failing.