The ancestors play or played an important part of our life. The fact that we are alive means that our ancestors played a role in making this day. Arguably, we can accredit our lives to them since we exist because they lived long enough to give rise to our generation. For instance, our lineage of ancestors all lived up to a certain age where they passed on the button of the family to the next generation. The ancestors are therefore important in our lives and should be thanked for who we are today.
Our ancestors are to thank for everything that we have. In Heritage, Linda Hogan narrates how she inherited much of what she has from her parents and grandparents. For instance, she states that From my grandfather who never spoke, I learnt to fear silence. I learned to kill a snake. When youre begging for rain. The quote represents an important lesson learnt from the ancestor. The author is thankful to her grandfather for the good lesson. Similarly, each one of us can relate to what the ancestors have done to us to shape our opinions or standards. The ancestors may be from our lineage or just people who lived before us (Hogan, N.p).
Linda Hogan's final statement in Heritage is also important also shows the importance that the ancestors are to us. From my family I have learnt the secrets of never having a home. Our ancestors used to have families, which preceded our own. Our families continue to learn from each other, generation after generation. Therefore, we should be grateful to our ancestors since they set most of the standards that we live by in our everyday life. When the author says that she learnt the secrets of having a home from her family, she means that the family had also learnt the virtues from the previous families made up of the ancestors.
The ancestors are the custodians of our culture. All the generation enjoys cultures that were created by the predecessors. The ancestors, our predecessors, generated a culture in which we revel and enjoy. The culture is important in pointing out the various intellectual achievements that humankind has achieved in the future. Currently, in the world, we have different cultures such as religion, music, and art, which are major sources of inspiration for us and the future generation. In Ray the movie, Ray Charles musical career is compared to the past musical geniuses. For instance Jerry Wexler uses known personalities in the music industry to try to convince Ray to stay at Atlantic Records, Sam Clark's a corporate slug who wouldn't know the difference between Earl Hines and Art Tatum! In this case, Wexler is trying to show the difference that the two individuals have made and the difference in what the two have achieved. Earl Hines was a very influential Jazz pianist who helped shape the Jazz culture. Art Tatum was also a talented jazz improviser who beat all odds to be among the best in Jazz. Wexler used Tatum in this instance to coerce Ray since he was visually impaired just like Tatum.
The culture as set by the ancestors is also used as the backdrop of what needs to be done. From previous cultures, we can be able to draw aspirations and develop revolutionary behaviors that the future generations will enjoy. Ray Charles uses the works previously done by his predecessors to develop a distinct musical approach, which sets him apart from any other musician of his time. He learns what other people have done to create and develop what has not been created(Ray, N.p).
In some instances, we fault our ancestors and their way of life. However, our ancestors faults should not make us ashamed of them since we also make mistakes in the course of living. Drawing an example from Alice Walkers Beauty: When the other dancer is the self, the persona states that The new School is the former State Penitentiary. The State Penitentiary used to hold convicts in very inhumane conditions. However, we cannot be ashamed of this since our ancestors used the best way they knew to handle crime. The persona is also shocked when she asks what was in a place she points at in the building, and she is told that it was an electric chair. At night I have nightmares about the electric chair, and about all the people reputedly fried' in it,' shows her disapproval of the vice. At that time in history, the laws required dangerous criminals electrocuted in the electric chair. However, instead of feeling ashamed of our ancestors, we should have since learnt from their mistakes and developed more humane ways to deal with criminals. We also have our own weaknesses, which will be pointed out by the future generations, but we still expect them to be thankful for our efforts to sustain life so that they too may live (Walker, N.p).
In conclusion, we should be proud of our ancestors. We get to learn everything we know from them such as the family virtues and other crucial characteristics. The ancestors also created the cultures we enjoy and which we use to develop new and revolutionary cultures. Even though our ancestors have shown significant weaknesses in what they did, we should not use it to judge them harshly and view them as a disgrace. Instead, we should accept that just like us, they had their challenges and their undoing was a way to cope with the challenges.
Walker, Alice, Beauty: When the other dancer is self.
Hogan, Linda, Heritage.
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