“Loneliness is an illusion,” plus other insights from the dead

At my daughter’s school celebration of Día de los Muertos, we were reminded that our ancestors continue to live through us.

The journey of one on a humanitarian mission can be exhilarating. There is nothing like aligning your most closely held values to your everyday work – nothing like living a life you deeply believe in.

However, it can also be a lonely path. The challenges to overcome are many, especially when you are exploring new territory. Models to replicate may not be readily available, financial constraints can create all sorts of obstacles, people behaving in shortsighted ways that go against their own ethical fiber may disappoint you.

What I have come to realize is that thinking we are doing this work alone is nothing but an illusion.

In reality, in our very own bodies we carry the wishes and aspirations of our biological ancestors. We carry the intentions and visions of our geographical ancestors and our social ancestors. The imprint of our philosophical ancestors are to be found in every last one of our cells.

The beautiful celebration of Día de los Muertos, a gift from our Mexican ancestors, helps us feel this in our bones. Among festive marigolds, bright candles and sugar skulls, we come together to remember the ones who have died as a way to keep them alive in us. We celebrate their lives and what they loved. And in so doing, we ultimately prioritize what we want to leave to our descendants and how we wish to stay alive in them.

Happy Día de los Muertos.


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