Thursday, August 17, 2017

Heritage Gone Tomorrow

DISCLAIMER:  The opinions expressed herein are strictly my own.  If you don't agree me, that's cool.  I'm not trying to talk you into anything.  Well, I still think you should get out and see more local theatre, but that's not relevant now.  Please don't berate me if you disagree with me.  You are entitled to your own opinion. Just keep your Tiki Torches at home.
I never really thought about it till the current shitstorm rained down, but I don't really get the concept of being proud of your heritage.
I am a straight white female American.  My ancestry is half Irish, one quarter Welsh and one quarter unknown, because my grandmother refused to discuss her family's past. (Unfortunately, not because it was juicy, but because my grandmother just didn't believe in talking much.)   I didn't choose any of this, it was all just an accident of birth.  If my mother had married the guy she was engaged to at the time she met my father, I would have been 150% Irish.  And as scary as that thought is, it still would have been just a random chance.  I don't feel any personal pride in the Irish or the Welsh, just because people with a lot of my DNA came from those places.  I love Ireland and Wales, because they're beautiful countries, but I love Italy too, and I can't claim any "heritage" from there.
If I'm proud of anything, it's the decisions I've purposely made.  I'm proud to be a mom.  I'm proud to be involved in local theatre.  I'm proud to be a cat owner.    I'm proud that I don't judge people by the color of their skin, or their sexual preference, or their selection of music genre. I'm proud that in spite of being emotionally ruined by a string of unsuccessful relationships, I can still cry with joy when I see people I love in love.  I'm proud that I still believe in this country and its  system of government, though lately that's been a tough one.   I'm proud that I choose not to believe in a mythical, misogynistic, homophobic immortal, who purportedly wrote one book over 2000 years ago that's supposed to be what we live by. (Come on, even Harper Lee wrote 2 books!) 
And I'm proud of my friends who  battled demons and won, even though I know every day is a struggle for them to keep on keeping on.  And I'm proud of my kids, because they are the best people in the universe, the end.
But I'm not proud to be a Mick and a Leek, that's just the roll of the dice.  In the end, what counts is not what boat your ancestors stepped off of, but what path you choose to walk today.  I've certainly chosen to go down my fair share of deadends, but as my paths are growing shorter, I'm proud of where I'm walking now.