It’s not your lineage that matters
It’s what you do now, today that matters.
Do you ever wonder what’s it like being full-on German during Hanukkah?
Do you think Native Americans give a rat’s ass about Fourth of July?
It was grade school when I asked what Native Americans thought of Thanksgiving. I figured out right away the people in my “tribe” were uncomfortable with that question. So even as they avoided it, they answered it.
Your people’s history can be ugly … even the Fourth of July might have some baggage. That’s different from you being ugly. You still have baggage, but you’re not ugly based on who came before you.
America Really Is The Best
Before we go on, know this: I love being American and am beyond grateful to have been born here. My travels as a medical missionary have cemented this belief. I am a birth-country-lottery-winner. And if you are an American woman? It’s just hard to wrap your head around how other countries view “their women.” We have a long way to go: we’ve just made more progress than many other countries.
Back to the Fourth.
If you look at the Fourth of July one way, it commemorates the birth of a country created on stolen land and made financially profitable on the backs of slaves, immigrants and the poor, by leaders who were mostly … Christians?
Yuck. History sucks.
But if you look at it another way, it commemorates the birth of a country formed by a group of men who were not just crazy smart, they were the most educated people the world had ever seen and they were all in the same place at the same time, united with common goal of building a freaking FREE nation!
Wow. It boggles the mind. Divine Intervention?
Let’s reconcile these views. Your life was built on the sacrifices, brains, bravery, vision, suffering, toils, and guts of those who came before you. If you are a birth-country-lottery-winner, you and I are standing on the same people’s shoulders. And while we weren’t the people on deck when this country was created, we have never-the-less inherited some baggage.
What You Do With Your Historical Baggage That Matters – See To How You Unpack
Every generation rides the glory and picks up the mess from the generation in front of it. It’s not really what your lineage is that matters. Everybody has a lineage. Common stuff. Your history should inform you, maybe ground you, certainly contribute to you. But what matters is the now. It’s what you do with all that historical baggage that counts. See to how you unpack.
Even if you are a tender Millennial, you have an obligation to unpack something for the Greater Good. In 2016, that contribution could be as simple as understanding different opinions are a good thing. Every person has the right to his or her version of reality, which is very likely your version of crazy. So what. Go have a beer with that person and find out why.
Just deal. And deal in Peace. … Maybe make Peace your contribution.
Peace and Goodwill. That’s what most people want anyway.
Now, go enjoy your Fourth of July and don’t blow off your opposable thumbs. You need your thumbs, and the people who are on call today don’t want to bring you to the operating room because you were drunk and did something stupid. They want to sit in the lounge and go home telling their people “It was great … I didn’t do a case a day.”