Friday, June 10, 2016

Microstory 340: Heritage

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Tribal Belonging

There are many different kinds of heritage. They’re all about holding onto something from the past for cultural and traditional purposes. This may refer to artwork, landmarks, or other physical artifacts, or of transgenerational wisdom. You’ve all been told how important heritage is, and since this is an entry in my Stepwisdom series, I’m going to do the same thing. Be prepared for some repetition, because I think the value in historical reflection sort of speaks for itself. There’s a quote that I can’t find, so it may not exist, but I’m going to try to paraphrase it anyway. “You can’t know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’ve been.” It’s important to understand the people who came before, and what they learned from their mistakes and triumphs. Cultural tradition is an important aspect of progress. Forever now, people have been commemorating events with tangible evidence. History is very much tied to place, so we’ve built and preserved historical sites to immerse ourselves in that history. Knowledge and stories have also been passed down so that descendants will be able to make wise decisions about their future with the power of perspective. There are some pitfalls in being so concerned with our heritage, though. If we focus too much on the past, and even too much on the present, we lose sight of the future we’re trying to build. Progress is so often held back because people who hate change whine about how much better things once were. Simply having done something a certain way in the past is never a good reason to do continue with the status quo. Things were not better before, but they did lead us to where we are now. That should never be taken for granted. Legal slavery is a part of our heritage that we should remember so that we can move past it, not so that we can repeat it. In the spirit of this, I’ll say…don’t “make America great again”. Make the whole world better than it ever was.

Subculture Recognition

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