My quick search on the internet discloses that encyclopedias have been around for about 2,000 years and continue to this day. In our mega-technology environment, I suspect that most reference is done online. But I clearly remember using this valuable creation as a frequent and trusted source of information.
It occurred to me that it would be helpful if we could create our own encyclopedias instead of trusting our brains to access important information. Those of us who remember using encyclopedias can probably understand this better than those who grew up only with online access. Asking my elementary school students if they are familiar with the word encyclopedia, I generally get blank stares. In addition to avoiding multi-syllable words, they have never investigated the value of said miracle.
When I speak of my own reference document it would work like this: In the late 60s and early 70s, I worked at a very large bank in Chicago for a collection of distinguished gentlemen. This was during those bleak days when women couldn’t wear pants to work and in a very large institution such as this, there was only one woman officer. In any case, there was a sweet man named Frank who frequently took me to lunch at a legendary Chicago restaurant. Because I can’t remember his last name, I have no ability to pay tribute to him.
Likewise, I would like to remember my first voice coach, the name of a bar where I celebrated my 21st birthday, the people who helped me celebrate my graduation from college and the restaurant where we had spaghetti in Rome. Who taught me how to read music? Who was my first guitar teacher? What was the name of the man whom I met several months ago who was a film producer interested in my work?
Clearly, it would be desirable to have access to as much information as we seek, as easily as possible. Maybe we simply don’t have the ability to retain all of this data and the brain filters out a portion that it deems unessential. Regardless, I still think that we owe it to ourselves to chronicle as much as possible, especially when we realize that information will be vital at a later date. Write it all down and you’ll never need to wonder. Shalom.
If I may assist you with any of your writing endeavors, it is my pleasure and privilege to do so. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.