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While not always necessary, it’s nice to receive a token of friendship, or a sign of good will, or some physical display of affirmation or confirmation. I have a few objects that remind me of friendship and some things I’ve learned while knowing certain people. Two of the most prominent are a personalized key chain from my Piano Buddy, and a One Ring replica from a Mellon. While I don’t need these things to remember the contexts of our relationships, they’re nice to have around and I often smile when I happen to glance at them.

At other times it is necessary to have something that reminds you of the past. This is why we have statues, monuments, and memorials. They are there to remind us of the past, of what went right and what went wrong so we can move forward accordingly. In the Bible, God Himself frequently gave His people signs, told them to build memorials, told them to observe certain holidays, and told them to keep up certain daily habits so they would be reminded of all He had done and how He would continue to lead them. Even today God gives us each signs and tokens.

We humans were made to sometimes need physical objects or habits to remind us of events and abstract lessons. Even when we don’t need them we frequently find them enjoyable to have. But whether or not you have a physical object to look at or a physical habit to do, it is important to remember the past, so that you can behave yourself wisely in the present, so that you can make a better future.