Today’s Question by Liza

They say childhood reminiscences are the warmest. Can you agree with that?

I don’t agree with this view, it’s too nostalgic for me. I have warm memories on a daily basis and I also remember moments in my childhood of profound realizations. For instance, I remember when I first felt alive. For a child, life is something abstract, because she/he thinks that the whole universe turns around his/her wishes. One day, during a sunset (I was probably 8 yrs old) I understood that there were other people in the world. And they had fathers, mothers, etc. I was not alone. I would say that this was the first realization I had from a series of realizations that have formed my life.


  1. alma says:

    my childhood was spent in confusion, I was receiving mixed messages all the time. I had blocked most of it all of my life.

  2. Savita Vega says:

    For me it is all relative. The facts don’t change – what happened, happened – BUT, my perception of those events is entirely mutable. Without changing the facts at all, I can tell the story of my childhood as though it were amog the most miserable, or I can tell it as though it were a splendid, enchanted youth – a Divine gift. This is what it means, I think, to tell a story. And our memories – those fragments of events that make up the “past” of our lives – are nnothing more than stories we tell ourselves to explain who and what and where we are in the present. As soon as we realize that our memories, our histories – in fact, our whole lives – are merely stories, and we are the storyteller, we gain a sense of control over our ourselves and our destiny that we never had before.

    For example, I could put a negative spin on certain events of my childhood and, as a result, come out feeling like a helpless victim, branded for failure. On the other hand, I could put a slightly different spin on those same events – just change the perspective from which the story is told, without changing any of the facts – and suddenly I emerge as one destined for greatness, gifted by the Gods, guarded by the angels, from birth. Truly, this does not require that we lie to ourselves or to others about our childhood; it merely requires the courage to become the storytellers of our own lives – the courage to decide from which perspective (the tragic or the heroic) the story is to be told.

    When you think of it, look at the stories of some of the greatest heroes ever known – the appareet tragedies that marked their birth and/or early years: Look at Moses, abandoned in a basket, left to float down the river. Look at Joseph, tossed down a well by his jealous brothers, sold into slavery then accounted as dead. So many stories are there like these in the mythology of all cultures. And there is a certain elemental truth to this, I believe – the real hero or heroin must be tested. Great destinies do not come without a price. How can you see that God and all the angels are on your side, if you have never had to face hardship of any kind?

    Whatever has happened in your childhood – even if it is a fate you would never wish upon anyone else – you should take the time to sit down and write out that story. Write it and re-write it again and again if you have to, until you discover a perspective from which to tell this story, such that the hardships and grief you encountered were merely stepping-stones to future accomplishments and greatness.

    Love to all,

  3. Alexandra says:

    I dont know the right answer,but sometimes I realise is true we are sort of slaves of our past.Is difficult to be aware,but glimpses of my childhood sometimes do explain my present,not completely,but in a way.I have nive memories,as well as really dark periods,but all in all,sunshine prevailes now,due to great help of God,that I must remember to praise every day.Many of my dreams come true,even some unexpected.Hope for the best,bye

  4. Memarie Lane says:

    i had a relatively calm childhood, but i have few pleasant memories. i think this is because we tend to cement unpleasantness into our memories. i know there were good times, but i can only remember poverty, fear, red moons and the howling of wind and coyotes.

  5. Andrea Amodeo says:

    You want me to write you a novel as Jane Austen did,
    but I cannot intrique you with tales of romance and courtship,
    for that is not the life I have known.

    I know a past that has challenged me into my adult life,
    but somewhere along the way I have learned the lessons.

    I have learned to let go of things that I feared had damaged me.

    I realized that I am still whole and have not been altered
    -just taken off course.

    I could speak of God or of the Angels…
    I could speak of self awareness or self doubt…
    or more simply of situations that have mirrored my own
    and allowed me to learn just by looking.

    But I wish for a way to speak to you so
    that you’ll receive me…
    and take my lessons without the need to experience them for yourself.

    We are not alone in this life…
    We are all living it…
    and it is in the stories of others
    -that our own truths are uncovered.

    I have the need to experience things from the sweetest of beginnings until the bitterest of ends.

    Take my blood…
    Taste my tears…
    and allow me to serve as your savior.

    Allow me to be the one who has suffered,
    and now that I have risen,
    rise with me.

    -Andrea Amodeo

  6. THELMA says:

    Thank you my dearest Paulo Coelho for your answer above. You made me think..
    I feel exactly the opposite!
    As a child I was a very-very happy creature and had the feeling of being ONE with everything and everybody. The world for me was ‘transparent’, full of sounds, colours, voices, music. I liked kisses, hugs, tenderness, smiles.. Even my dolls were talking to me..
    Then I realized that every person was another ‘world’. I felt ‘alone’ and then … I wanted so much to expand my senses, to reach others and ‘go back to my world of oneness’. I used to go to church looking up at the icons and I was sure that I was not any longer alone. The spiritual world is a reality and the only way to ‘really reach others’ is by ‘knowing’ how they feel and think. To break the boundaries of the tangible and reach the soft, beautiful, soul of humans, the divine spark in each one of us. And this is what you do with your books. Thank you once againg, for being there.

  7. Vivian says:

    I agree, with Paulo and John.
    I treasure those “Aha!” moments. And luckely, they increased with age.
    The first one I remember, I think I was 8, was in school when we all gathered in a circle. In the middle was a pile of peanuts and chocolates and after the teacher finished telling a story about the tradition of St Nicholas (Euriopean version of Santa Clause and celebrated on 6. Dec.) we were allowed to eat the yummy treats. There was not enough chocolate for all class mates and what child doesn’t prefere chocolate over peanuts? It ended up that some kids snaped them up. That was my first conscious encounter with greed. This moment has stayed with me ever after and reminds me that it is better to give than to receive and that it is better to share than to withhold.

  8. John says:

    I agree, there is little in my childhood that strikes warm memories even though it was an average childhood in every way.

    I think the best memories are formed when we are able to percieve things as they are and internalise how they make us feel.

    I remember walking in the hills in northern majorca and looking over the terrain, it was incredible and I started to think about God for the very first time and by that I mean I was struck by the majesty and diversity of the Universe. When ever I go there now I feel closer to life and think more clearly about the Universe.