Passing my 50th birthday a couple of years back, I recently realized that I reached a point in my life, where almost anyone I meet reminds me of someone else I already met… The resemblance may be by appearance, tone of voice, or demeanor.
While this may sound cute, it can be a hindrance on multiple facets. First, it creates within me a sense of confusion – do I really know you from somewhere, or is the notion simply an echo of another person? Furthermore, the sense of have I met you before? may clutter my judgement. If the original imprint — that is, the impression left with me from the person whom I confuse the current one with, is negative, I may be more critical of the new individual. On the flip side, if the impression was positive, I may find myself all too trusting. This led to consider gut feeling.
Gut feeling, I suspect, is partially based on subconscious memories of past experiences. Having some training in the ancient Taoist art of facial reading (Mien Shiang,) I know that although each person is unique, facial features disclose similar traits of character in different individuals. Thus, there is a reason why we remember a faces in connection with the experience we associate with that person. Still, I would like to believe that I give every individual I meet an equal opportunity, and confusing a newly encountered human with some echo of the past create challenge to that belief.
It made me think that maybe there is a sort of advantage for some memory loss at an advanced age; at least from the perspective of ghosts of past lives. Now, if I can only remember where I put my keys, that would be a little more helpful…
Learned from: meeting several people over the past few days who remind me other individuals from the past