Where were you?


  • Where were you when Princess Diana died?
  • Where were you when the Twin Towers were destroyed?
  • Where were you when John Lennon was killed?

The probability is that you will know exactly where you were when these appalling events occurred. But why do we remember? And why, so often, do we not remember what we did last week?

A need to feel safe?

I have a theory that perhaps the reason why we have such an accurate recall of where we were when a disaster happened might be because, as human beings, we all have an innate need to feel safe and secure, and when horrifying events, or disasters strike, we are immediately reminded of how unsafe the world that we inhabit actually is. How one minute somebody is alive and well, and the next minute they are gone. In a frantic attempt to reassure us, and to enable us to feel safe again, the mind reminds us that, at this moment in time, we are safe – a terrible thing has just happened, but right here, right now, where we stand, we are safe. Our exact location is then ‘rubber stamped’ into our minds as proof of our safety in this frightening world.

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