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Sunday, April 26, 2020

Remember what matters

Remember what matters
By Jean Ricot Dormeus

In his seminal novel "Masters of the Dew" (Gouverneurs de la Rosée in French), Jacques Roumain poignantly described the devastating effects of hatred and revenge rooted in the past. Manuel, the messenger of reconciliation, lost his life in the process. Fortunately, Annaïse kept the flame alive and led the villagers to the salvific source that would transform life in the village.

Many families and societies experience the drama against which Roumain would have warned us. A simple argument can degenerate over generations engendering hostile attitudes and a miserable community. Some people often point to past evils. Without knowing it, they inject a slow psychological poison in the veins and arteries of society.

We certainly have a duty to remember. We must know our past, because it is a driver of our identity. However we must choose the lens through which we view past experiences. Further, we should not focus our attention backwards given we will live in the future.

The principles of understanding, love and harmony should always guide our look at the past. We have to choose what to remember,  how to remember it and avoid repeating past mistakes. In any event, it is worth it to dwell on our dreams and aspirations rather than yesteryear events and negative emotions.

Coby never even greeted his aunt Claudia, because of enmity between his mom and her. When he turned 17, he started to reflect on this situation. Following a sermon, he decided to mend fences and bring the family together. Six months later, Coby's mom and Claudia started a fresh relationship and even shared food. Coby told me, "you don't have to be a prisoner of the past".

Duty to remember? Definitely. However, we must remember what matters and know why it matters.

Jean Ricot Dormeus

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