Simple Technological Fix for Forgetful Minds
Right now, think of ten people whose birthdays you don’t want to forget. Here’s a sample list:
- Sister / Brother
- Girlfriend / Boyfriend / Partner / Husband / Wife
- High School Best Friend
- College Roommate
- Groomsman / Bridesmaid (for you, or that you were)
- Work Best Friend (current or former)
- The person who calls you for advice / when they’re having relationship problems
- The person who you call for advice / when you’re having relationship problems
- Boss/Important Client
Go find their birthdays (on Facebook, mutual friends, etc.) and program them onto your phone’s calendar. Set it to repeat every year, and set it to remind you at a time when you can and will call them. I choose midnight, because I like to be the first one to give that person a call (and if I miss the notice, I still have 24 hours to nail it). You might choose 7am instead.
Forgetting a person’s birthday isn’t the end of the world, but it can cause unnecessary suffering. Use technology instead to insure that you show someone how much you care about them.
Showing a person love by reaching out in person is always more meaningful than posting on their Social Media account. Often just giving them a call and telling them how much they mean to you is enough of a present.
If you want to really make your birthday wish last, think of a specific moment that you appreciate about them, and tell them “when you [specific moment] I felt [how you felt].” For example, “When you invited me to write for DailyHap on a regular basis, I felt really trusted and valued.” You can add more or leave it at that. It could be different every year, or the same. Just remember that they are probably getting a lot of calls, and this is about them, not you, so keep it brief.
Albert Einstein in response to not knowing the speed of sound:
“[I do not] carry such information in my mind since it is readily available in books. …The value of a college education is not the learning of many facts but the training of the mind to think.”
Einstein: His Life and Times (1947) Philipp Frank, p. 185)
(The commonly quoted “Never memorize what you can look up in books,” is found in “Recording the Experience” (10 June 2004) at The Library of Congress, but no citation to Einstein’s writings is given.)