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The 3 R’s

The 3 R’s  11/22/19Once upon a time, “reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic” were referred to as the 3 R’s.  But in my world as a volunteer, the three R’s stand for Read, Reflect and Reminisce when I meet with friends who live at the Four Seasons Healthcare Center in Forman several times a month. 

During the read and reflect time at the center, I read aloud to a small group of friends and we pause every so often to discuss (reflect) on what was read and to reminisce (share memories that are stirred up by the reading).  Great stories are shared, and often some good laughs, also.

Two of the many things that make human beings unique are

  • the ability to create and maintain memories, and
  • the ability to pass our experiences and memories on to others, often in the form of stories.

The process of passing on personal and family memories allows us to

  • share who we are,
  • reach out to connect across the generations, and
  • promote the values we embrace.

Our identity (our sense of who we are) is shaped by the experiences we’ve had and by the memories and stories about those experiences that we share and pass on. 

The process of reviewing and then passing on personal and family identity by sharing the stories and memories that have shaped our lives is called reminiscence.  As a process, reminiscence has great value for us and for those we care about.

Regular patterns of reminiscence are healthy for people.  Reminiscence is associated with

  • better mental health,
  • less depression, and
  • more satisfaction in family relationships.

One fun, easy technique to stimulate memories and story-telling of reminiscence, perhaps during Thanksgiving or other holiday get-togethers, is the “ABC” method.  It uses homemade paper letters or letter tiles from spelling games.  For details, contact me at the NDSU Extension office in Sargent County.  Call 701-724-3355, email cindy.klapperich@ndsu.edu, or stop in at 8991 Hwy 32, Forman, ND.   

Photo Source: https://pixabay.com/illustrations/motivational-poster-memories-1485652/ (downloaded 11/26/19)

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