Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Power of Association

Way back in the days of manual typewriters—before word processing and before electric typewriters—I learned to test out the touch of a typewriter by typing this sentence: “Now is the time for all good boys to come to the aid of their country.” Supposedly this sentence covers most of the keys on the typewriter so you can get the feel of it. To this day, every time I put my hands on a key pad those words start go go through my head.

Touching my fingers to key pads also brings back another memory. In my freshman year of college I was taking a linguistics class where we had to memorize the phonetic symbols for sounds. I transcribed the "good boys" sentence into phonetic symbols figuring if it had most of the keys it would be an easy way to learn most of the sound symbols. To my surprise the final exam asked us to write out that “good boys” sentence in phonetic symbols. I aced the exam!

The fact that forty-plus years later the simple act of putting my fingers on a key pad brings back those memories is intriguing to me. Our minds are powerful and if instead of just letting things happen we recognize the power of the mind and memory we can make them work for us. We can purposely make associations that will constantly remind us of the things that will make us better, bring us closer to God, and help us remember His ways.

For example: the first thing I see when I wake up every morning and something I stared at when I was recently sick is the light and fan that hangs from the ceiling over my bed. It has five big brown blades and five is the numeric symbol for the Atonement of Jesus Christ. As I open my eyes each morning and see those five blades, I think about the Atonement. Those thoughts encourage and lift me and they get my heart and mind ready for the day. 
This is something all of us can do. We don't have to wait for memories to just happen. We can make associations with things we encounter every day that will remind us of our Father in Heaven and our Savior and thus empower and encourage us.

1 comment:

Wendi said...

Remembering and focusing on the Atonement has helped me through many tough days. I'm so thankful for the hope and strength it gives me. :)