Heritage & Planned Obsolescence
At Christmas I was visiting family members and our new nephew. Like most babies, he has a LOT of stuff. One thing that struck me was that most of it was a lot nicer than the stuff I had as a kid.
My possessions were handed down to me and my cousins when we were kids and then passed down to our own children. These included items such as the playpens, cribs, high-chairs, and other sturdy furniture that were used and enjoyed for several generations.
Unfortunately, the newer baby stuff is not made to last. When my nephew outgrows it, the stuff is gonna be tossed in a dumpster. When the next kid comes along, this stuff will not be passed down and will never be multi-generational.
The same fate must never befall our American Heritage. Our heritage — like the high-chair at grandma’s house — has been passed down and shared, and was common to many generations. So maybe the Chinese slave laborers who make stuff for Walmart do not take the same pride in their work that previous generations of Americans once exhibited.
No doubt, that plastic high-chair doesn’t need to be passed down. But unlike that plastic chair, our heritage will endure. Our family history and the good names of our ancestors as well as their stories — the very faith of our fathers — WILL endure. The question is, will we be able to pass it on to future generations?
It is a new year and most of us are making resolutions. So our resolution for this new year, at least one of them, should be to make the effort to tell our children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, neighbors, and friends the story of our folk. Instill within them a pride for our people and empower them with the knowledge of their history.
The great British statesman, Edmund Burke, called this “the democracy of the dead.” Grandpa, great-grandpa, great-great grandpa may not be with us, but their deeds, their character, and their good names can and should be made to live forever.