Cultural Experiences Should Never Wither by Mary A. Jones MAJones777@gmail.com
From the "Pen of a Ready Writer"MAJones – Cultural Experiences Should Never Wither
Every Monday from 2:10 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Van Stone and other key staff such as, Warren Bloom, Diane White, and me join Janet Daily at 1540 on the AM dial at Janet’s House.
Although I was not available to join the team on Monday past for the broadcast, I was able to hear a portion of the show.
Janet spoke about the opportunity she had to serve a family during their loved one’s funeral that was of a different culture. The striking key for her was the fact that they were concerned not only for the living, but also their deceased loved ones. While attending the funeral she was amazed as to how they were sensitive to the loved ones that were left behind. They showed this affection by taking an offering for the family right at the funeral, which by the way was their custom to do so. It was normal for their cultural community to look out for their loved ones within that community. This support went beyond the family having an insurance policy, or the knowledge that they were not in need and all the expenses were paid.
Janet mentioned that she also attended an interment where again, the family and friends were of another culture. It could have been the same family, but the point is that she saw how other families that were at the burial site were tending to the grave sites of their loved ones. They were having prayer, placing flowers and incense at the graves to adorn them; expressing their love and honor for the deceased.
Her points in all this were how people of other cultures have held on to their cultural experiences and continue to practice them today. Warren Bloom stated that our religion should not change or hinder the practice of our culture. Janet continued by saying that we as a people have lost the roots and the cultural experience in which we once lived. This struck a familiar chord with me. It quickened a place within me that speaks of the very essence in which I was raised, but it brings me and pushes me into a place and time where I long for the very simplicity of life in which we had, which really was a heritage being passed down from generation to generation.
The legacy of our forefathers was rich with compassion for the extended family, bringing about a pride that was wrought out of excellence, and an honor that was unique in every Black home. Janet was right. We visited the grave sites of our loved ones, adorning them with our tears and flowers. I add that we gave an extended hand to others, including strangers, which would bring them along as we all strived to make it and live life. And lastly, we as children were children. We had an opportunity to exercise the art of play and creativity right where we were, building to make it work.
We have lost the roots that our ancestors paid forward and in many families have failed to bring forward to each generation the heritage and the pride of excellence in all that we do. With each generation the failure has been great. This failure is so great now that babies are having the babies, because the parents are still babies and have not been taught the pride of excellence in which they are to live.
Poverty is a mentality and it breeds such a stench of ignorance. If it continues to be the only heritage passed forward then it will be for many the only way of life. I am in agreement with Janet, Van, and Warren that the communities must rise up and come together and build that which is in us. That would be life. Everyone has a part to play; some in the background and some in the foreground. But whatever one’s creativity is that would be the thread needed to complete the pattern or plan of life.
I believe we could move to the next level as stated on the program, whereas the city and communities, especially the business communities and entrepreneurs, were to really come to the table, we could turn this city around. This takes strong leadership with a good administration (not just officials) to bring about good planning. If you plan to succeed you will, but if you fail to plan, then you fail.
Reverend Mary A. Jones