Rolling up to our parents’ house or perhaps to our children’s for a ‘routine’ visit is not so routine. Think about it. Live moments with the people we love—live moments in our lives—speak volumes in the context of family. What we do and say will be recorded, potentially, in the annals of our family for generations to come. It’s our oral tradition.
We hardly ever truly realise how important our everyday, so-called “boring” lives are, especially in the context of our family and friendship relationships. For these days—all of them—are forging for us a very personal and public history, whether we like it or not.
We’re all history makers. I found it interesting, however, reading the following contrastive Shaman philosophy:
“A warrior doesn’t need personal history. One day, he finds it is no longer necessary for him, and he drops it.”
What is a luxury for the warrior is a necessity for us, for when we visit our family folk, or they us, we know without a doubt the importance of being at our best; for them and for us.
For the Shaman warrior a personal history gets in the way, and his (or her) culture allows them to focus on their role to the exclusion of familial relationships. The family understands. For us, everything we do is a historical event especially in the perspective of our own families and our little lives. But, no matter our role or position in life, as a history maker everything we do and say has eternal significance.
Not that we condemn ourselves when we write a page of history we’d prefer to forget. That’s why the word or act of “sorry” was invented, I’m sure.
If only we saw our lives for the importance they truly are, for we can often pass over the facts and flippantly deal with people, thinking it’s all so ho-hum. And it’s never the case.
We do not need to be famous or lead well-to-do lives to be ‘in life.’ The very fact that we’re walking, talking symbols of humanity defines us as history makers. We soon find those in a moment of folly making their own negative history in courtrooms every day.
And when we struggle for purpose in ordinary life we can find it here. We are important and so is our family. Everything we do or that’s been done has consequences, and therefore purpose.
Notwithstanding the temptations otherwise to pass over our lives as insignificant, we must be able to see the role we have and view it with an appropriate level of awe.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.
 Carlos Castaneda, The Wheel of Time: The Shamans of Ancient Mexico, Their Thoughts About Life, Death and the Universe (Los Angeles, USA: LA Eidolona Press, 1998), p. 77. From The Journey to Ixtlan.