Friday, September 9, 2011

Our Past, Our Future and Now

Many great minds in history have expressed the importance in understanding your past.  Confucius said, "Study the past if you would define the future."  And Dr. Carl Sagen believed, "You have to know the past to understand the present."   Andrea Maurois states, "A man cannot free himself from the past more easily than he can from his own body."  Nathaniel Hawthorne positions that "The Past lies on the Present like a giant's dead body."

Having insight into your past, whether personal, family or cultural, can give you great understanding of who you are at the present.  By looking at the past, it can help define who we are presently and give us some understanding of how we got to be that way.  Our past has shaped us, created us.  By knowing the history of our ancestors, we can understand why they, and we, act like we do.  We can see where genetic traits have influenced us and how cultural traditions have shaped them as well as ourselves.  By knowing our past, we can choose what elements of it we would like to hold in our future.

As I mentioned earlier in the week, we attended the 33rd Italian Festival in Clarksburg, WV.  Taking my children to the festival, visiting family and and experiencing Italian culture, I have given my children the gift of knowing where they came from.  They saw what I value in the Italian tradition and maybe now they understand why mom does certain things to carry on these traditions.

While there, we also got to see my cousin's dance company, Allegro, perform.  Anna's company tours all over the United States and as she says, she brings the Italian culture to the next generation.  I think this is an excellent video that features Anna's dance company and her pride in her Italian heritage.  I hope you enjoy it!

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