Not For Nothing
What you come from isn't meaningless. You don't come from nothing. What took place actually mattered. As in it was material. As in it really took place and space. Lives and energy were expended. And "the past" remains material ("mattering") as a part of our present day consciousness, both in our homages and denials.
Material has many ways of manifesting; at least 5 that are obvious on our planet: ether, fire, air, water and earth. And each of those manifestations has (infinite) dimensions to it. There are many ways for something to not only exist, but to live on in some version of itself. And you can bet what you don't yet know yourself to know is a major aspect of those "many ways."
Everyone can afford to know more about what they resist caring about. There are many dimensions of being, worlds of knowing and ways to coexist . . . but Existence—as a basic contingency for your having an in-depth experience—requires your regard. Both to communicate its meaning and because free will necessitates that to give a shit you actually have to give something of value to you.
Not simply money, not simply lip service, but your awareness, your attention and your belief systems. If you invest your faith in believing that nihilism is "just how life is" you will get just that. If you give all you have, you will get everything you can get in return. If, when you read that, you decided in your mind that "all you have" is outside of you or something you don’t yet possess . . . that is evidence of the impoverishment of your allegiance(s).
I am a 1st Generation US-American (probably). In that my consciousness has had to regard the many worlds (Belizean, Ugandan, American(s), Californian, Black, Womxn, etc.) I exist in beyond the uniformly accepted identity that homogeneity, unreliable narrators and a lack of honoring the past typically supports; I am acutely aware of my own strangeness and foreignness to the circumstances I encounter daily.
They called this place “(North) America,” but I grew up knowing it was just a place people chose to call something(s)—home and "theirs," especially. Like Belize was for much of my family. Like Uganda was for much of my family. And I, being from all 3 of these worlds and new to all these identities, got to say where I was/am to me and what relationship I would have/do have with what was and is before me. I decided. I am still deciding.
That has never been optional for me, where my ability to identify with anything constructed by humxnity as far as "being" is concerned. There were no famous or renowned Belizean-Ugandan American people to frame the potential of my existence for me; so, when seeking an example from which to best understand my humxnity, it naturally occurred to me to look further than just people and their “history” (RiT).
I had to seek greater allegiances that resonated with everywhere and everyone I knew myself to come from. And that is a genuine 1st Generation inclination that I also consider to be the most Americanesque thing about me. The difference between myself and that of the colonizers of these continents being that I am deeply aware of this fact: that I choose my belonging and that my privilege is to decide my identity based on where I've come to exist as a result of ancestral efforts I will never know the full scale of. And that I am beholden to these ancestors: "good," "bad" and "undesirable."
Yet I try knowing. I work to know them. Because I profoundly appreciate those that came before me. As I am beyond grateful for a life to have. The ancestors are who made such a thing possible—for me to have a conscious identity. That is not nothing. For I AM something.
As a 1st Generation citizen, I do not wish to take up any great deal of space speaking on behalf of the financial and environmental reparation interests of either African American descendants or that of the indigenous peoples of these 2 continents called the Americas. Others are far more entitled to such platforms and monies than I know myself to be.
But as a 1st Generation ANYBODY I feel more than justified advocating for free genealogy/DNA/ancestry tests for all descendants of colonized, oppressed, enslaved or exploited peoples (including "class" exploitation). For it is my belief and understanding that everyone living today has not only a right to know their ancestry, but a necessity.
To know what came before you, how it came, and in what order is essential to having faith in the structure of the moment. Anxiety about the future is born of worry about the past. Contentedness in the present comes from proper regard for whatever has already happened, which releases your attachment as you come to understand that past moments are/were fully lived out to the best THE PAST was able to comprehend.
We forgive our lessers as we must forgive our lesser selves. But we can only wholeheartedly forgive when we fully acknowledge what has occurred. And that transparency is what actually, factually and literally allows you to release past baggage. Everything in its right place means leaving the past where it is by KNOWING WHAT IT IS. If you don't know what you have how in the hell do you know what you are carrying?!!?
Wonder after your ancestors so you don't repeat after those that wandered too far away from their humxnity. Re-mind (and re-member) yourself where you came from. Be present by not resenting what happened. Be present by trusting NOW to guide you to and through whatever future ends up being your most necessitated experience. The present is the only thing you have to work with and the most efficient tool in your toolkit.
Nothing else but the present is promised to you. Nothing is more useful and utilizable than this moment. And this moment. And this moment. And now. And now. And now again. Until infinity and beyond, ad infinitum.
Thus, I don't hold the crimes of the living against the dead. I hold the crimes of the living against the living. For here is where our challenges were made and so here is where they should be amended. The only people left to make amends are the ones currently incarnate; and that would be us + those who are born after us (if anybody). When it comes to the overall and individual bettering of (the invention of) humxnity,
Those who are alive—while they are alive and, thus, with and as their existence—are the ones meant to do the work of bettering.
Every generation that passes the buck willingly and ably chooses to fuck with their descendants, their species, their cohabitants and the overall quality of Existence.