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Diaries Reflect Not Only Our Past but Also Our Future

By OSMAN OZSOY - February 27 2024
Diaries Reflect Not Only Our Past but Also Our Future

Many people have kept a diary at some point in their lives. It is a common behavior, especially in childhood and adolescence, partly due to the influence of emulation. This habit gradually decreases with advancing age. Nowadays, people leave their current lives as a note to the past by sharing photos on their social media accounts.

When diaries are carefully examined by experts or when we carefully look at our old diaries with our current life experiences, we can see the road map of our lives extending to today. Who can deny the impact of what we experienced yesterday has on today? There is a strong connection between our happiness or unhappiness today and our past choices. As a matter of fact, a study conducted at the University of Kentucky in the USA revealed this fact strikingly.

The research, which scientists called the ‘Nun Research’ and published the results in the ‘Journal of Personality and Social Psychology’ after working on it for 15 years, revealed that people who live happily at every stage of their lives live longer.

The reason why nuns were chosen for the research was that they were ‘ideal subjects’. Because they all have the same lifestyle and environment, which we can call standard. All participants are women, unmarried, childless, do not drink or smoke, and have the same socio-economic conditions. During the research, 678 nuns between the ages of 75 and 102 were examined. The nuns also allowed scientists to examine the diaries they had kept since childhood. At the end of the study, the research team found a strong connection between ‘long and happy life’ and the details written by the nuns since their early youth. It has been determined that nuns who are observed to have mostly “positive” emotions throughout their lives and reflect this in their daily behavior live 10 years longer than other nuns. 

The research also revealed that nuns who see every day of their lives as an opportunity to be happy, who are compromising rather than combative in their relationships, who try to evaluate every event from a positive perspective, and who spread this throughout their lives, are happier and live longer.

Not only diaries, but even the lines our classmates write about us in school yearbooks sometimes reflect our future like a prophecy.

Both my mother and father kept journals their entire lives. In these diaries, it is possible to trace not only our family history, but also the environment and country they live in, and even important events that took place in the world. I also kept diaries of various years that were turning points in my life. When I look back at the pages of these diaries, I have no difficulty finding the answer to the question of who I am, where I come from and where I am going. In life, everyone writes their own story, and sometimes this is reflected in diaries.

by Osman Ozsoy

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