How do we remember?

In the UK and Commonwealth, this is Remembrance Sunday, a day when we consciously pause and silently make space to remember those who have died in the line of duty and the sacrifice they made to create the world that we live in. In service of this, we buy poppies and collect money to distribute to veteran related causes.

And yet, I can’t help noticing that our remembering is always present and rarely silent.

In all our actions, in all our life choices, in all our loves and disagreements we honour our dead and we stay loyal to the trauma of those who came before.

Our most poignant life lessons are learnt in times of trauma and challenge and we hand these down often unconsciously and with deep love to our children as we lead by example and help shape their views of right and wrong.

Whether you are an eccentric billionaire genius who has learnt that you need to be big in your systems to survive or whether you were a prisoner of war survivor who learnt that we don’t share painful experiences, we all pass on our trauma lessons and they continue to shape the world we co-create.

In this way, the past is ever-present and our remembering laughs, speaks, shouts and cries in all our ways of being.

Today our UK and commonwealth is very different to 1918 and as I walked around London last week I was reminded of how beautiful and diverse our amazing country is and I couldn’t help but think of all the collective remembering we are carrying in our bodies and our society…  

The remembering that we carry in our skin, our eyes, our hair styles, our religions, our languages and our hearts.

The remembering of the culture of our homelands and tribes left behind whether for opportunity, love, extraction or escape.

The sacrifice of the commonwealth members created by force but consciously coupled through opportunity or convenience.

So while we take a moment to pause in remembrance, maybe we should also pause to reflect on:

  • What we are remembering and making space for in our lives…
  • What we might be excluding or not looking at in ourselves and others…
  • What might help us move forward to create the world that we consciously want to pass on to our children and grand-children…


…and for those who went before, thank you for what you gave. We will use it well.