Posts Tagged ‘roots’

Roots

Saturday, March 20th, 2010

This past few years I have grown nostalgic about my ancestry. I want to know where I come from. Who peoples my family tree? I started to become fascinated with this line of thought before the new influx of tv shows like “Who do you think you are?” and the PBS miniseries digging up the past of Yo-Yo Ma and Eva Longoria, “Faces of America”. But these shows have reinforced my desire to do a family informationalĀ archealogical dig. I have uncovered both ends of the spectrum… Irish mobsters bootlegging and roughing people up and heroic police officers who lost their lives in the line of duty. I can trace one line of my family back at least 12 generations. Another, I can’t get past my grandfather. It is interesting business trying to figure out who you really are, where you come from but there are so many tools to do this now. Records are online at places like Ancestry.com and Rootsweb.com. You can also find Mormon archival libraries in your local area. You can ask family members, friends of family members. You can request birth certificates. The information is out there waiting to be discovered. It is liberating, inspiring, it roots you to your past in strange and wonderful ways.

For me, it means I am more than the daughter of my parents. This is particularly important to me since I am estranged from my mother and rarely talk to my father. I want to feel grounded, a part of a family that is greater than the poor choices of two people. Greater than the mistakes or triumphs of any one person… there are hundreds of people in my history… and I thoroughly enjoy discovering each and every one of them, learning their stories… reading, researching, learning who carried my genes down the line… who delivered the chance of my existence. =)

Who can you find interesting in your ancestry? I challenge you to find at least 3 different interesting people and share them with me! I would love to read your intriguing ancestral stories! =)

Human capacity for self-deception

Friday, May 8th, 2009

Oh, the web we weave…when lie, cheat and deceive…ourselves.

The gears in my mind are always turning–and I think I am incapable of having many empty thoughts. Each one is woven tight with many others so that each time I begin to unpack one, it leads to infinitely more. Lately, it is a question of who I once was, who I am and who I wish to be. I, like most people, am not impermeable to self-deception. I am quite capable of ignoring the writing on the wall–no matter how bold or large.

“There is no reality in the absence of observation.” — The Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics

I am a romantic at heart–wanting so much to believe the best in people. This is often too much work with little pay off. Like extracting water from the sand the way a beetle does–it is a lot of work for humans with very little water collected. I find when you place hope in people, you set yourself up for disappointment but that never stops me. It is more important that we not give up on others. It is more important that we believe in people despite the disappointment.

This will return us our humanity. We’ve lost so much or perhaps I’ve just grown older and wiser. Perhaps the world is as it has always been with problems that seem dire, people who care seemingly fast extinct… it is difficult to discern. What I do know is we cannot lose ourselves or each other in the process. It is in the smallest guestures our redemption can be found–giving to a charity, volunteering, smiling at people who walk by, helping someone who needs it, giving the $5 to that person so down-and-out in their luck that they are willing to beg on the street corner.

It will not be found in self-deception or placing your trust in someone who is not worthy of that trust–it is not found in the mangling of your own self-worth in order to ignore what is obvious in any given situation.

“The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend.” — Henri Bergson

We must be prepared to see the best in ourselves and be the steward of our own realities. We must not wait for Obama to do the right thing. We must not wait for conservatives to think like us. We must not wait for our worlds to disintegrate beneath us–losing all faith in others–to get out of bad situations. We must not allow one bad egg to spoil our view on humanity. And I know just how easy it is to do this.

I want not to lie to myself anymore. I want not to pretend I don’t see what I do. I want not to wait for outside hope but rather I wish to cultivate it within. I want to plant a seedling and nurture it till it grows strong the stalk within me; roots firmly planted in my walk. I want to walk the walk of hope knowing no one can take that from me–not George W. Bush, not Karl Rove, not even someone I consider a friend for it will be mine, grown through my own actions, my own behavior… sprouting seedlings for others to follow suit.

Where will you find your hope?