There was a time when the most ambitious amongst my forbears aimed for a vision of progress and success that was rooted in the cultural mindsets of folks from elsewhere. Obviously there were many things that were worth acquiring, such as literacy, education, the benefits of science and technology amongst other things. The wise ones were probably trying to ascertain how much to borrow from elsewhere and how much of what they already had that should be kept and nurtured.
As time elapsed, my forbears experimented with various approaches to dealing with this issue. Looking back at some of the choices that were made, it is easy to judge them for doing things that don’t make sense nowadays, but if we accept that the past is another territory then perhaps it is more useful to learn from their thoughts and deeds, so we can build on their legacies and improve.
The other side of the coin is when we romanticise about their achievements. Notable things are thought, said and done by human beings at every point in time. No one is perfect however, so there are bound to be some things that can be done differently as time moves on.
If we do our best to live in the present moment, then we should able to make the most of our times, so we make our own contributions to the ongoing process.
How does one know where to draw the line with regard to learning from past heroes and heroines and facing what we’re dealing with, here and now?