Wise Old Indian says:
(How come we don’t have sayings of old Drunk Uncle Billy Bearpaw?)
A man must discover who he is.
A man must discover where he comes from.
A man must discover why he’s here.
I’m still working on #1, have a growing understanding of #2 and have at least discovered #3.
I’m here to learn and appreciate.
When I was growing up in rural Colorado, I didn’t feel much connection with my contemporaries. For the most part, they prided themselves on being anti-intellectual, clung tightly to their ignorance and bullied anyone the least bit different or smaller. I was quite small for my age until my high school ‘growth spurt’ & was the teacher’s pet, so I came in for a lot of nastiness. Eventually, I learned to look out for myself, becoming a good boxer and wrestler who could think and act faster than the assholes, so they learned to leave me alone. That did not suddenly open the door to socialization and while I’m not anti-social, I decidedly failed to develop the usual social skills of teenagers.
Rather than being connected to my generation, I felt a strong connection with prior generations: my parents’ Great Depression lives, my grandparents’ pioneer ranching; my great-great-etc-grandparents’ travels from New England thru NY and Ohio; their ancestors’ migration to the Colonies, the earlier migrations to Britain from the Continent. I felt connected to all those people ‘upline’.
I recall reading Bryan Sykes’ book, The Seven Daughters Of Eve. There’s a scene in which he addresses an audience and has seven threads linking people, lighting up strings of women as he tugs a particular thread. One visualizes random glowing faces as each maternal lineage is evoked, painting a beautiful image of both similarities and uniqueness. This mental image expanded my connectivity. Instead of a few threads connecting to my known, documented family tree, I had a thread that connected to tens or hundreds of thousands, dating back from 19000 to 180000 years ago.
My goal in life, going forward, is to increase and foster that sense of connection; to understand people and manifest that understanding in writing.