On the surface, I was okay with the gist of it all, but I ruminate and turn things over a time or two. So my authentic response is a lot more complicated--because society, communities, and families are complicated. In some cases, it's almost better to forget where you came from. Sometimes ties with one's past associates, family members, community dynamics, etc. can bog you down and keep you from gaining the traction needed to move forward in life. Sometimes where you came from is rife with drugs, violence, emotional or physical abuse, mental illness. Or sometimes it just wasn't a good experience, and there might have been some toxic overload going on.
Two Eckhart Tolle quotes speak to the complexity of one's ties to the past:
1) "Sometimes letting things go is an act of far greater power than defending or hanging on."
2) "A significant portion of the earth's population will soon recognize, if they haven't already done so, that humanity is now faced with a stark choice: Evolve or die."
So I'd like to tweak the guest speaker's message in order to incorporate some deeper truths:
- Never forget where you came from, unless it was emotionally crippling. If it was, forget it as efficiently as possible, and start your future now.
- If you were raised in lousy circumstances, never forget where you came from, so you remember how to save yourself. (And if necessary, how to stay far far away)
- Never forget that you're incredibly strong, and sometimes your village is crazy.
- Never forget where you came from--in the context of how it can help you live a happy and satisfying life.
And I'll close with another quote (by someone I can't recall)--which basically says, Sometimes the best thing you can give to others is the example of your own life working. Which means, don't let where you came from have such a tight hold that, out of guilt, you try to save everybody, or you're afraid to be all you can be.
Heads up! Mainstreet Rag's latest issue features an interview about my journey as a writer, and my short story "In My Soul."
Here's the link to order a copy!