09 November 2015

Heritage and Clutter

One person's heritage is often another person's clutter.  The items of heritage are seen by the latter as irrelevant, superfluous, unnecessary obstacles and distractions.  Clutter is something in the way of something else, especially when that something else is a goal to be achieved.

There can be many arguments, in households, in families and in societies, when one person's heritage is swept away, thrown away or destroyed to make way for the ambitions of someone else.  The problem is that the result is grief.  Heritage, once lost, cannot be replaced.  It is, therefore, much like a person.

This is one of the greatest challenges facing the world.  It is whether the argument over what is valuable in the minds of some people and useless in the minds of other people can ever be reconciled.  It goes to the heart of human rights.

To be human, in the view of many people espousing human rights, is to be irreplaceable.  It is to have intrinsic value.

To be human, in accordance with human rights, is to be respected as an essential part of the heritage of the world.  It is not to be considered as clutter.

Heritage relates to memory, to symbolism, to belonging, to identity, to knowledge, and to the inheritance of one generation to the next.  To destroy heritage is to destroy part of what it is to be human.

It may seem as if the removal of layers of the past can simplify life, yet is also diminishes life.  It diminishes what it means to be human.  It is a denial of experience rather than the transcendence of the past.

To rise above past experiences of distress is to embrace heritage peacefully and compassionately, with an acknowledgement of the value of human rights.  The meaning of being human is itself often open to argument.

Memories are associated with all sorts of items, people, places and events.  It is the association with memory that is often most valuable to people whose lives may appear to be cluttered.  Memories often define us, personally and socially.  It is probably why particular photographs and particular recollections from the past continue to have meaning in the present for particular individuals.

Your own quiet reflections may bring further meaning to your life when thinking about the meaning of your own heritage.   It may be especially worthwhile to reflect upon the possible meaning and value of your clutter to other people.

How do you usually separate heritage from clutter?


Through Quieter Living...

A comfortable search for peace

The valuing of shared values

Vespers not Vespas

Perfecting the past

A long way from Italy

By Any Other Name...

Wedgwood, Darwin and me

Groups, gatherings and glamour

Heritage, inner peace and world peace

Are people the real home?

In the name of enjoyment

In the name of sentimentality

Continual Journeys...

The most courteous people in the world

Why travel?

Moving onwards

The spice of life

Your amazing journey into existence

Ancestors Within...

Identity across the centuries

Discovering your ancestral history and heritage

Connect to your heritage

Understanding your ancestry, genealogy and heritage

Superstitions and traditions

Finding your ancestors where you are now

Lost relatives regained

Exciting new discoveries

My heritage, your heritage, our heritage

Treasure troves

Unlocking Australia's past

A genealogical look around

Just starting out with family history research

Ancestral scatterings

Family history delvings and unexpected destinations

Jobs and ancestors

Work, literacy, poverty and conscription

03 November 2015

Moments for Reflection

A few quiet moments of reflection each day help to calm the mind, at least before the news headlines of the day have been received.  I try to avoid hearing or reading the news while I am working on other things, either in the house or garden or with my research.

I prefer some time to myself early in the day, to gather my thoughts and reflect upon my identity, my travels and my history.  I reflect on my relationships later in the day. 

The problems of the world usually receive my attention in the late morning and early afternoon.

I reflect on just being.

I reflect on self discoveries.

I reflect on the benefits of reflecting.

26 October 2015

Reflecting on History

Here, in Quieter Living, there can be a found a medley of reflections from 2009 onwards.  They have been written to assist my further reflections on history and future possibilities, and perhaps even your own.

I have written that I am neither a pessimist nor an optimist, taking a moderate, middle view between the two.  I try to recover fleeting ideas and forgotten memories.  I reflect on significant historical events.  I do my best to contribute to a news media for peace.  I have sought to express freedom without force.  At the same time, I hope I am staying centred.

The history I am currently reflecting upon relates to migration to Australia between the years 1870 and 1930 of people from places other than the British Isles.  I am especially interested in migration from Italy of young men escaping conscription.

I am also developing my knowledge of British history between the years 1650 and 1850, especially in relation to the history of ideas.  The battle between religious extremism and the forces for moderation have shifted in many ways with the flow of time.