Autumn blew in with gusto this morning, bringing darker skies to set the scene, as blustery winds danced the leaves around my backyard. I am hesitant to face the chill in the air. It seems the summer was just here, and I was marveling at its warmth and brilliance. How quickly the seasons change! I feel myself scurrying to keep up.
It is the time of year that ancient cultures remembered the Ancestors and a time when we, of the modern world, would be wise to do the same. Exactly who are “the Ones who came before us?”
Webster says an ancestor is “someone from whom you are descended (but usually more remote than a grandparent).” For the purpose of this discourse, it is not familial ancestors we speak to, but instead, it is those whom we credit with initiating our societal ways of life.
And, with that in mind, it is important to mention that remembering and honoring are different things.
Not all of our ancestors are worthy of honor. Many “who came before us” knowingly did great harm. In pursuit of power, for lust, and in the name of greed, there are those who came before us who railed against the ideas of freedom and liberty for all, who felt “Equality” must be qualified, and that money was the best criteria for judging a person’s worth. Such values as honesty, compassion, and generosity were deemed weaknesses – and, when identified, were used as doorways through which the Power-hungry exploited others in the sacred name of Acquisition.
We have inherited many beliefs from these people – and many fears. From them, we learned that, without money, we are weak and powerless. We have been taught that if we do not HAVE, then we must fear for our survival because we cannot count on each other. Over the eons, we have come to live as if receiving is better than sharing and as if the pursuit of happiness must come after the pursuit of a pay-check.
It is time to question these ways of being. As we of the World move forward through difficult economic times, confronting such challenges as climate change, lack of healthy food and clean water, cultural differences and war, it is time to ask ourselves how we got to this place – and, more importantly, what it will take to get to a different place.
It is time to take a very honest look at our Ancestral roots and to realize that we do not have to continue on this path. It is not too late to cultivate such qualities as honesty, compassion and generosity in our lives. We must first acknowledge that these are, indeed, qualities that we value in one another.
When we freely share with one another, our fear of being without will slip away and be replaced by a feeling of confidence in humanity. In sharing and helping others, we find true POWER – the power to make the world better, instantly! Our compassion for those around us makes the world safer for ALL of us and allows us to be open and honest with each other. Compassion begins in our ability to see each other’s faults and failings as part of the human condition – and to forgive them.
With compassion, we must look at the heritage left by our Ancestors, knowing that they could not have predicted how thier choices would affect our lives. We must forgive – and we must do something different than they did.
Every single one of us has the ability to do something today to make the world feel safer for another. How will you help? What can you give for another’s comfort? Who needs your compassionate ear? With whom will you share a truth that is healing? By claiming this true power to change our world, we change the future, a tiny step at a time.
As Autumn’s cool winds blow through our lives, let them dance away our distrust and release our hopelessness, making room for something new. In this way, we will become Ancestors that may be honored.