Write Your Family History for Posterity
“Elders keep track of where the edible plants are, and they can recall natural disasters of long ago that may have affected the distribution and safety of local resources. The wise elder had her synapses and priorities straight.” Taken from Woman, An Intimate Geography by Natalie Angier
On one occasion, Confucius said, “It is not the Way that broadens people, but people who broaden the Way.” The Way is our passage through life, the road we take. Our forebears mapped out their way and built their roads, and in so doing, have provided a bearing for succeeding generations. They have given us the culture and institutions that structure our lives and give them value and meaning. But each new generation must be road-builders too, and continue the efforts that have gone before. Found in Introduction to From Words to Live By (Tsai Chih Chung) by Roger T. Ames, Director, Center for Chinese Studies, University of Hawaii.
“The Hawaiian stands firmly in the present, with his back to the future, and his eyes fixed upon the past, seeking historical answers for present-day dilemmas. Such an orientation is to the Hawaiian an eminently practical one, for the future is always unknown, whereas the past is rich in glory and knowledge. Taken from Native Land and Foreign Desires by Lilikala Kame’eleihiwa
“Therefore, though we have rightly applauded our ancestors for their spiritual achievements (and do not and must not discount them now), those of us who prevail today will have done no small thing. The special spirits who have been reserved to live in this time of challenges and who overcome will one day be praised for their stamina by those who pulled handcarts.
Those who were righteous in other ages, when the gospel light was snuffed out, will one day commend the current members of the Church who so live that the gospel light increased in its incandescence. Those of ancient Israel who saw many signs and yet episodically relapsed will one day praise those in this dispensation who have believed "because of the word" without being compelled to be humble. (Alma 32:14.) The Lamanites who were righteous in earlier times, especially, will praise their present posterity whose righteousness is bringing a blossoming of their seed. Thus the contemporary righteous will earn the esteem of their admired predecessors.
Finally, if we are faithful, even the righteous of the city of Enoch will fall upon our necks and kiss us, and we will mingle our tears with their tears! (Moses 7:63.) Let us, therefore, notwithstanding our weaknesses, be reassured that the everyday keeping of the commandments and the doing of our duties is what it is all about.” from Neal A Maxwell
I believe that these four quotes have similar messages. They point out the importance of history in our lives and how much we can learn from the past. Those that have lived before us had experiences that they learned from and we can take from that reservoir of knowledge. That is our legacy and responsibility to honor those that have gone on before us. It reminds me that I have a responsibility to seek out my ancestors and learn from their lives and not take any of them for granted and do our part while it is our turn on earth.
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© 2014 Elayne
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