Share This Post

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on whatsapp
Share on email

I have a question for you. Do you know who your ancestors were? Are you certain about where they come from and why they came this way?

If the answer is a resounding “Yes,” then congratulations! You are part of a minority of people who either have conserved their heritage or have done one of those commodified DNA heritage studies that became popular in the last five years.

However, if the answer is “No,” then I will ask you the following question. Do you care?

Commodified Heritage
Photo by Roman Kraft on Unsplash

Commodified Heritage

According to a survey run by the folks at Ancestry.com (Yes, one of the leading heritage research businesses), 84 percent of Americans expressed interest in their heritage or history; Eighty-four percent, that is eight in ten people who are putting a lot of value in their past. When I read this study, I was pretty surprised. I expected some people whose parents or grandparents are immigrants to represent the majority of this group, given that they might have some disconnect from their past after a generation or two. Yet, it seems that even those living in the same town for generations are curious about their ancestors’ journey.

A Journey for Cultural Identity

I bring you this topic because I have been reading Sam Thiara’s memoir Lost and Found: Seeking the Past and Finding Myselfand in the process, I have been pondering my connection with my heritageIf you don’t know who Sam Thiara is, he is a speaker, storyteller, author, coach, mentor, entrepreneur, and educator born in the UK and raised in Canada by Fijian parents with Indian descendants —yep, wrap your head about that. 

In his book, Sam takes us on a journey through India as he ventures to a country and culture he never felt part of but was calling for him. Armed with only a small, blurry photo from 90 years ago and a village name, he takes on a journey to the unknown in a quest to find his grandfather’s hometown, a connection with spirituality, and himself. We highly recommend it.

Cultural Identity
Photo by Ben Sweet on Unsplash

If I had to point out why so many people have been trying to discover and, more importantly, have concrete proof of their heritage, I would say it is an innate desire to have a cohesive cultural identity. For most folks who have been surrounded by people who look like them and do as they do for generations, their cultural identity is pretty solid. They don’t question their past because, well, it didn’t look that different. This circumstance is especially true for white Americans, who have adopted the American mythos fabricated by the settlers who came centuries ago. 

Incidentally, Rick and Morty just had a fascinating episode about that specific topic called Rick & Morty’s Thanksploitation Spectacular. Check it out. It’s pretty hilarious.

Looking Ahead

Personally, I am more of a forward-looking kind of person. I care about what lies ahead of me instead of what was left behind. I do sympathize with the sentiment of attachment and respect for heritage and the sacrifice my ancestors had to make. Yet, I don’t feel any attachment to any particular blood, soil, or history. I prefer focusing on what I am experiencing now and what I can build in the future, as that has the most significant impact on my life.

If you are curious about Sam or the book, don’t fret. We had a wonderful conversation with him about community, heritage, and service coming out in the coming weeks. First, however, you can go to our podcast and check the wonderful conversation Wendy and I had about difficult conversations with loved ones. You were particularly interested in our thoughts on this topic, and we feel that we did a great job deconstructing the issue. We have some ideas on navigating this problematic landmine without compromising your mental health and minimizing the impact on your relationships.

If you’re wondering why we didn’t publish a video last week, well, we felt we needed to go back to our roots and have a Wendy and Juan episode. We have seen your comments and want to make sure we bring you the content you love every week. So, for now on, we will be publishing one interview every other week and having a Wendy and Juan episode in between. 

We have been deeply enjoying the conversations we have been having with so many wonderful guests, and we can’t wait to share them with you. In the meantime, we hope you enjoy our fun conversations with two goofballs trying to understand each other and the world.

Cover photo by Mr Cup / Fabien Barral on Unsplash

Juan
From early on in his life, Juan knew he was destined for greatness —and then proceeded to waste his time watching YouTube. A talented tech/random fact expert who refuses to let fear get in the way of his self-development. You can count on Juan to show up as a natural-born leader, funny man, and loving friend.

Did you know that you're missing out?

Every week we send our subscribers the most fantastic and constructive newsletter on the net.

By subscribing, you’re guaranteed in your inbox our weekly tips on

  • Embracing your story
  • Getting unstuck
  • Overcoming self-doubt
  • Shifting your mindset

All of this FOR FREE!

Continue reading!

Newsletter
Juan

Life is a fickle thing

Life is a fickle thing. It’s capricious and unpredictable by nature, and it can sometimes go away without giving the slightest warning. When this happens, it can feel like a gut punch that robs you of the precious breath and tranquillity that sustains your life, throwing you into a spiral of confusion and suffering, making you a prisoner of your sorrow.

Read More »
On Waiting
Newsletter
Juan

On Waiting

This week, we want to talk about living a life waiting for the next milestone instead of experiencing the beauty of the present is a prison of our own making.

Read More »

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Thanks!
We will be in contact soon.

You can also reach out to us at [email protected]

success