The Red Plate Theory



Well, friends, it’s finally here. My explanation behind many Facebook, Instagram and Twitter mentions or pictures of the ‘Red Plate’. I posted a quick update on my different social media platforms about the Red Plate and had since been asked (countless) times to share the wisdom behind the Red Plate. So, here it is (finally)!

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Remember to Remember

Every year on November 11th at 11 o’clock the nation stops, pauses and silences themselves all in an act to remember. Remember and honor the loved ones who went before us, who gave their lives so bravely in the war for our freedom.  Poppies are worn on apparel in an act of remembrance and respect for the lives given. This is all done in thankfulness and gratitude for the gift given to future generations.


Yet, in a society that is moving so rapidly and advancing around every turn, remembering is becoming a lost art. The world is constantly looking forward to the next big thing, find the newest megastar on reality TV or acquire the latest trend or device. More eyes seem to be looking forward than they are looking back.  However, the simple act to pause and reflect on what has past is truly what helps shape our future.Forgive and forget is the famous mantra often spoken when it comes to moving on from the past and its offenses.

But do we really need to forget? Is there something in the ‘remembering’ that will teach us lessons about ourselves?

Are we abandoning the treasures life can bring by simply forgetting? It is true that not every memory is positive but maybe the ability to look back and reflect is what can help us truly go forward.

This past week, our family learned the devastating news that my beloved grandmother had passed. We loved her very much and she brought joy into our lives daily. In all her years, she never failed to see the humor in everything and instilled in our family the ability to laugh, even in the worst situations. The first act we did the evening we learned of her passing was gather around the table and share stories as a family. Stories that would start with the phrase, ‘Remember when’ followed by antidotes and tales causing us all to laugh, cry and even heal.  These moments are what allow us to carry on and take with us the attributes and values that were taught to us through the years.

Take the example of Jesus.

In His last act with his disciples He shared a meal with them asking that when they do this next they should ‘Do this in Remembrance of me’. In other words, Jesus would encourage His story and life to be reflected upon through a simple act of eating or sharing a meal with others.  He understood the value of reflection. Remembering and reflecting upon the past enables one to take the lessons learned and apply them to their future.

So as heads are bowed on November 11th in honor of the mighty men and woman who gave their lives for freedom, let this not be an act that is only done once a year. Allow the lessons of life, the sacrifices of others, the sweet memories of loved ones and the hurts and pains of the past teach, shape and lead us into our greater story.

Scott Bakken