Do we need to remember our childhood for it to be a happy one?

This question has serious implications which I don’t have the time to fully address but will sketch an outline and perhaps get back to it if I feel like/remember to do so.


If it does: 1. Then we’ll never know what our childhood is really like unless we remember every incident that happen. For me, I mostly remember the random and unhappy things. 2. #1 assumes that what we interpret from our memories is what we are experiencing in our childhood at that time. 3. However, #2 can be countered by a different approach/definition to the idea of ‘childhood’. Childhood can be said not to be a state that happened but is an experience that is constantly being interpreted.

If it doesn’t: Then how can we use the word ‘happy’ in the manner that ‘happy’ or its adjectives are always used? 1. If we don’t remember, we can’t interpret. We can’t call it happy in retrospective. 2. Neither can we call it happy in a descriptive sense because we don’t even remember it. 3. Can we intuit? We felt that our childhood was happy? Or infer from our current state of un-screwd-up-ness that our childhood must have been quite fine? I don’t know about this one.


For me, from the time at which I start remembering most things from my childhood which is 5 year old onwards, I remember being unconsciously happy in a descriptive sense around 30% of the time. I was upset or unbalanced for the other 70%. I can safely say that I was never fully happy as a kid (from when I was 5) for an entire day.

In retrospective when I apply my current interpretation on my memories, I’ll give my childhood a very bad rating (probably 2-3/10) but that doesn’t bother me because that’s the only possible childhood I can and will ever get. And ‘I am living the life of the light-hearted and grave-minded.’.

However, looking at 0-4 which I remember certain traces of it, I don’t know why but I tend to adopt the #3 attitude to this period of time. Also, we can say that if we don’t remember, ‘happy’ or not probably doesn’t matter to us at that time.