We have been influenced into doing and thinking things we would have thought illogical and unproductive a few years ago. We are worried about what others will think of us to the point we are ashamed of being who we normally are. This is true even if we are decent people and cause no one any harm.
One way I have seen thins evident is by being ashamed of what our ancestors did or didn’t do. I have been enjoying using a popular program to trace my lineage back in several directions just to think about their surroundings and what the world was like when they were alive. Putting actual names with our known history has been valuable to me. For the most part, everyone I have come from were farmers, usually with large families, who came from the Carolinas to the south. One was in Boston when was married in 1738. They usually raised their own farm hands. I did finally run across one who appraently owned “negroes”, as the census shows. This I did not know, but it was a fact. They were some of the relatively few who did so, at least of those from which I sprang.
I do not feel at fault nor guilty for what they did two hundred years ago, when thinking about such things was much different. The five or six generations from then until now have changed a lot of things, such as farming itself and ways of life.
I will not let others make me feel as if I have done wrong by what those distant relatives did. I do not have to share everything they did to honor their existence and what they contributed to my heritage otherwise. It was part of the landscape (literally) at the time.
Forgetting our history drastically increases the chances we will repeat those things. The better I remember the actions of those before me will help me avoid the same mistakes. I am much more concerned about my example for those who will follow me. That’s something over which I have some control. We all do.