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Thursday, September 20, 2012
“WHERE do you originally hail from?” I asked my students in class. Sounds strange but common answers were “I don’t know” and I’m not sure, ma’am.”
Apparently, knowing one’s roots have become a matter of complete indifference to most children these days.
Is where you born important to you? Does it really matter where you're from? Or is it enough to be simply a "citizen of the world?" Some people do not think it makes a difference where you’re born; it's more about the environment.
Having roots is about traditions and creating a sense of home…somewhere to belong and make wonderful memories. I don’t think it’s a constructive thing not knowing your roots at all. A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots. Denying your roots is the same as denying a part of yourself. Those who are ashamed of their roots become slaves of their insolence and hypocrisy. Your tribe is your bailiwick and if you deny that beginning, you don’t only lose your existence but you look like a rotten fish, detested even by the weakest and ugliest member of your tribe.
One important thing to consider is that modern man will not study or care about history or preserve a culture of the past if it does not have an importance to the present time. Similarly, a man who forgets his past cannot draw the course of his future. Few people might not notice it, but, to those who are proud of their roots, they are the very people who become leaders. Name one leader and read his autobiography, his first paragraph is about himself and his beginning.
The odd thing is that if we don’t accept ourselves as we are, chances are that no one else will accept us. It is a peculiar fact that if we accept ourselves with all the distinctive points of our individualities, and be proud of who we are. Those who are like-minded will be drawn to us, and those who are not will gradually learn to respect us. What’s more, we will always operate from a position of strength in all our interactions, and respect and appreciate others’ differences, making life richer in the sense of a better, wider, more open kind of life.
So don’t reinvent or cover up your past. Your story is as interesting as anyone else’s. Embrace your own beginnings and you’ll find you can embrace the beginnings of others. Whatever culture or tradition you come from, it is part of your history and lineage. Love everything in your past. Your future depends on it.
In this respect, parents should constantly remind their children of their roots to ensure that their ancestry would not fade into oblivion by modern times under the current rapid pace of development taking place in their midst.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on September 20, 2012.