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Christian and Socially-Conscious…One Woman's Expression

Archive for the tag “ancestors”

It Is Expected

There is something amazingly powerful about standing on grounds where your ancestors are respected.  Recently, I took a trip to Georgia.  I absolutely love being around my Georgian family.  Around them, you know you are with family.  There is much laughter and endless love.  Conversation is honest.  You know you are being watched, but observations are to make sure you are ok…and if you are not, guidance, advice, and encouragement will be rendered.  There is no doubt that you are connected and in that linkage you are safe, safe to be great.

3.26.15 Instant hand on neck - Copy

I am the great-granddaughter to individuals who helped build an area for the betterment of the community as a whole.  They were a part of the first graduating classes, founders, builders, landowners, etc. all the while working to enhance a community along side of others with the same vision, the same goals.  When I think of the period in time and what they were able to accomplish, I gain strength in knowing that I am a part of them and they are a part of me.

My ancestors are faith-rooted people, so it is no surprise that I am.  They were courageous, as am I.  They were visionaries and hard workers.  Although I was born after their deaths, I am able to still know them because they left legacies that my current family members openly acknowledge and applaud.  They left an expectation for those of us following to build upon and expand.  They left their stories and life examples that: the road will not always be easy, the sacrifice will at times be great but to whom much is given, much is expected…and much is expected.

Standing amongst the trees and on roads that saw my ancestors, that heard their voices, and witnessed their work,  I felt their connection, their powerful presence.  I am reminded that if they could accomplish the visions given to them in the time periods of which they were born, I too can accomplish those given to me in this day and age.  After all, it is expected!

 

A Generation’s Responsibility

In my profession, it is not uncommon for me to know someone whose parent is an attorney or a judge.  This may be the same for you, or maybe you know of  similar situations.  Do you know someone in the military whose mother or father was in the military?  Maybe you know someone who is a teacher whose parent taught; or maybe a police officer whose parent was also; or a pastor, or a doctor, or a business owner?  Surely, you can name an entertainer whose child is an entertainer.  Many times children follow in the footsteps of their parents, good or otherwise.

For a long time, I looked at this passing of the baton from the standpoint of struggle.  This made sense for someone like me.  You see, I could easily see the number of obstacles in place to halt me as I pursued dreams not of my family’s business.  I did not have a relative (or family friend) introducing me to this person and to that person for professional advancement.  I had limited opportunities to overhear conversations for avoiding certain workplace pitfalls.  They were limited because you can only be proactive when you are aware of the potential hindrance.  As you know, life can be challenging.  Now, add the additional component of discovering the ropes without a tangible roadmap.  There are real trials and frustrations when you are the first to….do…..anything.  With no mentor, how can you not see struggle?  How could I not see it?

This morning, however, my viewpoint expanded.  As I was sliding on my business jacket, a series of images came to mind: businesses, land, and sacrifice.  I began to think about my ancestors and about the property they owned, the structures they built, the obstacles they overcame to make life better for those of us who have come afterwards.  Driving to work, I thought about the times in which they lived.  My thoughts grew to include the ancestors of others.  I began to think in general terms.  I wondered if our ancestors would weep or rejoice.  It was then that I understood, on a deeper level, that every generation has a responsibility.

Before this morning, I thought that every person has a responsibility to make things better for the next generation.  This is true, but it is finite.  Better, after all, is subjective to an individual’s moral and ethical beliefs.  It is also confined to one’s ration for another.  Now, I am aware that this responsibility is bigger than one person if we truly want to leave a viable legacy for those in succession.

Who wants the best of the best; the cream of the crop; the pick of the litter?

I DO!  I want it for me and for you.

“But how can we both have it,” I heard someone ask.

How can we both not?

Expand your mind to grasp the notion that we are all living at this time.  We are a generation, living.  Epidemics kill because we are connected.  Blessing multiply because we are connected.

Individually, we are each a part of a larger whole.  Our responsibility as individuals, as with our ancestors, is now and will be bigger than our sole selves.  Our ancestors understood this, many giving their lives for this truth.  Many cultures understand this, many passing down belief systems that emphasize its importance.  So here, today, I wonder……how many of us get it.

Mother-Daughter

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