Knowing your ancestors is very important, learning from the past makes us better, wiser and more responsible. It helps us to acknowledge and consider our actions; it makes us understand our humanity. Ultimately, helping us to create a shared global bond based solely on what it means to be human, as this is something we all have in common irrespective of our cultures or upbringing. It provides a blank slate allowing us all to be on a level playing field, as we all take part in admitting our faults in turn showing compassion to our fellow man.
For anyone, who feels they shouldn’t apologise for the mistakes of their past or those made by their ancestors fail to see the bigger picture, as it’s not even about the other party. You, could be providing the catalyst for the same actions to be repeated again; all because you refuse to acknowledge it, let alone sympathise with those around you. It’s about the human race as a whole, and our shared humanity. It’s not about our own selfish outlook.
In the words of Martin Luther King Jr ‘An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.’
If only we could see how much our ancestry and socialisation feed into who we are. Its only if we look at who we are can we begin to acknowledge the pain and experiences of those around us. Don’t we owe it to ourselves and society as a whole? I say we do, that’s if we actually want to make society better and go further than our ancestors did, in order to create the society we all dream of.
Families owe it to their descendants and the rest of humanity to be transparent and candid, sharing the truth about individuals, keeping both the good and bad memories alive, so that we all have an understanding of who we truly are. Like it or not we are the sum total of where we come from but if we don’t take the time to understand where we come from how do we construct a healthy image of who we are and who we aspire to be?
I’m on a journey to discover as much as i can about my family and ancestors. I always find it surprising when i ask a seemingly simple question about a family member and the person has no answer and that is as far as i get because the person has passed on. It’s like a vital puzzle piece of mine is lost forever. I often think about the lost stories, experiences and life lessons that my generation, would never know about since they are lost to us, as a society forever…