I admit, I am somewhat of a history buff. The past can shed light on our journey forward. There is so much to be learned and assimilated from our individual legacies, And it is with this knowledge, that can give us a sense of purpose and direction. Its like saying , “where do we go from here?”. Now, I am not saying that I am sure I am a direct descendant of George Washington or Abraham Lincoln. That is too easy. There is just something special and satisfying in finding your roots. I am extremely grateful to my late mom and my sister for doing a heck of lot of the geneological research and leg work on the family history.
The search for your roots can get rather complex, so a game plan for your search is a must. There is just so much information available that it boggles the mind. If you do not have a real plan, you can really get lost in the avalanche of data. It is somewhat like a treasure hunt but without the map and the “X” marks the spot.
Deep down, I must admit that it would be cool to have an ancestor be someone famous in history. But I do realize that it is likely there is no superstar in the family network. And that is okay. You just wish for some swashbuckling character that stirs the imagination and is a legend. There is something magical in that wish.But then again, there is something truly magical in the lives of ordinary people. We all live and dream historical moments, yet realize that our footprints and actions will probably just fade with the passage of time.
History is a blueprint that illuminates our path. It gives us insights that help us understand our place in the cosmos and our journey to the future. It is a road paved with adventure.
One of my inspiring teachers in high school was Mr, Dennis Patrick. He taught history and inspired us to reach beyond dates and events and use our imagination to understand, question and appreciate how what happened in the past has such a large role in how future might turn out. In my senior year, I was a teaching assistant for Mr. Patrick and continued my love of history and discovery. Another major influence in my education was Professor James I. Robertson, who taught Civil War History at Virginia Tech. He was a leading authority on the Civil War. However, he did not focus solely on dates and events, rather choosing to focus on the social side of the war, how ordinary citizens were affected, and soldiers lives. It was my favorite college course. History can show us where to progress, what not to do, and how to progress. Hopefully civilization will take note. Our ancestors left us a very detailed guidebook. Hopefully we will not miss message,
As I travel this lovely road and incarnation called life, I am compiling my own personal history. Not necessarily a best seller, but real nonetheless. Having been born in the fifties, grown up in the sixties and seventies, I have been witness to many historical events. As a horse person, I saw Secretariat, Seattle Slew, Affirmed and American Pharoah win the Triple Crown of horse racing. Pretty amazing considering how hard this is to do,. I witnessed the first Super Bowl, saw John Kennedy, Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. be assassinated, the Berlin Wall fall, the Cuban Missile Crisis, Woodstock, race riots, gas shortages, Vietnam War protests, and most important, my grandson being born. The universe does present awesome gifts,
History is a light in the dark that points us to our best selves. One of my favorite Abraham Lincoln quotes is “surely we must reach the better angels of our nature“. It is a long journey but one that proves that by understanding our past, we can be prepared for our future. The glorious part in this story is that we create and make our history and in so doing we celebrate our humanity and its place in the universe.
To come full circle, I have been on a search or “stalking” my roots. For quite awhile I have lived day to day not really thinking about my past, Just a bit too self centered. Now to think and discover my heritage is a source of joy and even a bit of magic. Learning about my past helps complete and define my character and gives me an understanding of who I am. There is a television show called “Who Do You Think You Are“, in which celebrities discover their roots. Its fun stuff and helps promote honoring your past.
History is a guidepost and road map that helps us to navigate life and comprehend how we fit into the universe.
Fellow travelers, feel blessed, be happy,be engaged and be in awe of the magic of life. Know that all is how is should be at this moment. Thank you for stopping in and for that I am truly grateful. Be blessed. Embrace your past, embrace your now, prepare for the future and most of all, celebrate the deliciousness of life. Peace to all. Namaste!