Sunday, August 28, 2011

Everyday Opinion: legacy, the good and the bad.

Legacy, the Good and the Bad by Morag Noffke.

You might have wondered why I said, “My legacy is emotional, physical and psycho-spiritual” if you read about me in my profile. A legacy is either: money or property left in a will or something handed down by a predecessor to us. Our parents pass on their behaviours, habits, and family patterns. Some things are continually passed from one generation to the next. And as parents we will pass them on too. We accept these things without much thought.  

Sometimes we only think about the negative things that we endured and which were passed down. My question is: “what about the good things which you have inherited?” and “What are these good things?” My mother and father were both artistic, enjoying creativity and crafts. These are some examples passed onto others which are of value: love of words, love of knowledge, abilities and talents, values, beliefs, love and affection etc. It is encouraging, enlightening, insightful, giving direction and appreciation for oneself, to think of the legacy.

Think about the things you have inherited. Let go of the negative and hold onto the good. This is like eating an apple which has a rotten spot. You have a choice: either you can throw the apple away, missing out on the sweetness it has to offer you; you can eat the bad spot as well, running the risk of the rottenness upset you or you can spit the rottenness out and eat the rest.

Your legacy is just like that. You need to identify the rottenness, spit it out and eat the sweetness passed down to you. What have you inherited? What do you choose to pass on to your children?

This poem is by an Irish poet born just after the civil war was terminated (1923). Guns were part of his legacy; as was the struggle of the civil war of which his parents were part. It is difficult to break away from the cultural effects and influences which become ones legacy too.    

Son of a Gun by Padriac Fiacc (1924b)

Between the year of the slump and the sell out, I
The third child, am the first born alive…

My father is a Free Stater ‘Cavan Buck’.
My mother is a Belfast Factory worker. Both

Carry guns, and the grandmother with a gun
In her apron, making the military wipe

Their boots before they rape the house. (These
Civil wars are only ever over on paper!)

Armed police are still raping my dreams
Thump-thud, Thump-thud. I go on mightmaring

Dear father running. There is a bull
In the field. Is father, am I, running away

From the bull to it? Is this the reason why
I steal
time, things, places, people?

Bar-man father, sleeping with a gun under
Your pillow, does the gun help you that much
I wonder

For the gun has made you all only the one
in of sex with me the two sexed son (or three

Or none?) you bequeathed the gun to
still cannot make it so. I can

Never become your he-man: shot
Down born as I was, sure I thought

And thought and thought but blood ran… 

Counselling can help identify your legacy and it's affects it has on you. It can also help you break away from influences and effects which are not serving you well and find new ways of living.

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