Wise Words on The Ancestors

“The land of the living was not far removed from the ancestors. There was coming and going between them, especially at festivals and also when an old man died, because an old man was very close to the ancestors. A man’s life from birth to death was a series of transition rites which brought him nearer and nearer to his ancestors.”
– Chinua Achebe, from Things Fall Apart

“It’s interesting–the concept of an ancestor not necessarily as a parent but as an abiding, interested, benevolent, guiding presence that is yours and is concerned about you, not quite like saints but having the same sort of access, none of which is new information.”
– Toni Morrison

“Some people are your relatives but others are your ancestors, and you choose the ones you want to have as ancestors. You create yourself out of those values.”
– Ralph Ellison

“In different hours, a man represents each of several of his ancestors, as if there were seven or eight of us rolled up in each man’s skin,—seven or eight ancestors at least, and they constitute the variety of notes for that new piece of music which his life is.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

“If you look deeply into the palm of your hand, you will see your parents and all generations of your ancestors. All of them are alive in this moment. Each is present in your body. You are the continuation of each of these people.”
– Thich Nhat Hanh

“Know whence you came. If you know whence you came, there is really no limit to where you can go.”
– James Baldwin

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