An adoption reunion changed the way I look at everyone around me—the more time that passes, the more I bend my philosophy to match the story of our common early human ancestors. I find it remarkable that so much of who we are today is so deeply rooted in the past and illuminated by our consanguinity, kinship, and heritage.
With age come wisdom and the ability to look at the world from a philosopher’s perspective and appreciate the mystery and interconnectedness of all people. When we initiate a quest to discover the individuality and distinctiveness of our ancestors and succeed in finding out who they were some remarkable traces of our evolutionary past are revealed and a new level of consciousness is achieved. Archeology and the history of civilization have always intrigued me. Finding one’s roots is an interesting way of weaving storytelling, history and science together. My mother was adopted. She never knew the names of her parents or where they came from which is similar to many of us who are too short-lived and far too little informed of our parentage beyond several generations back. My mother was mildly curious to learn about her parents but her adoptive parents indignantly refused to tell her anything about her past. Researching my mother’s family history later in life and the eventual discovery of the identity of my grandparents provided significant clarity and peace about my own life, my own imperfections, and my own mortality.
Being passionate about life and those who came before us leads to exciting views into the forces that shape our family pedigree. Delving deep into the origins of man and the evolutionary heritage of life itself demonstrate the intrinsic similarities and relationship of all cultures and human life. All life is finite and irreversible and completely at the mercy of time. Life is an evolutionary process that explains the basic mechanisms of evolution, natural selection, and genetics. Our past is a story of luck and natural selection that highlights the history of civilization and returns us to our origins. The social and cultural characteristics of our ancestors parallel the history of all human societies because we all share the same origins. Regardless of the region of the world where our ancestors came from, the amount of wealth they accumulated, the level of education they achieved, and their social status in life, every cultural group was exposed to the same ancient fears, grief and vulnerability to illness, complex emotions, altruism, love, and procreation. Social behavior patterns, methods of raising children, education levels, emotional intelligence, technical skills, ability to communicate, and ways of making a living are all reflections of learned behaviors from parents and cultural influences. The theme of each individual’s legacy is vividly personal but remarkably similar to the behavior and history of everyone around them.
Our genes provide an exceptional case for returning us to our true origins. They were inherited from our ancestors and they will live on in our children. Our genes provide scientific links to the past and future and help to explain adaptation in the entire human chain of evolution. They provide a slant on the dramatic way we became to be who we are and deliver an illuminating explanation for behavior manifestation. It is through the study of the shadows of ancestors past that we truly learn to understand where we come from and learn to appreciate the basics of innate human tendencies, cooperation, ethics, altruism, compassion, love, art, intellect, and caring for our fellow human beings. Self-reflection is a powerful tool for cultivating a fulfilling, meaningful life—a journey that is worth taking.