Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Know yourself - know your history

Your history shapes you – often far more than you realise. The path you have taken to get where you are will often define your thinking. To be aware of these things is important; knowing the formative elements in your development is an important part of your self-knowledge.

If you want to know yourself, know your history. A trivial but revealing example of this for me would be what happened when Deb and I got married - with the wedding gift list. Deb and her Mum compiled the list – I stayed well clear of the process until it was nearly done and Deb suggested that I had a look to see if there was anything I wanted to add. I went through it and – in all seriousness – said to Deb, ‘Where’s the trolley?’
‘Trolley? What trolley? What do you want a trolley for?’
‘The one that sits in the kitchen, where we put the newspapers so we know where they are when we want them. And when we have a family ‘do’ or Sunday tea, the trolley comes out to the living room with the tea and sandwiches…’
My Mum had a trolley in her kitchen and guess what, so did my Nana! And when we went to visit and had tea – out would come the trolley! (Anyone relating to this story?) So of course I asked, ‘Where’s the trolley?’
Deb said to me, quite firmly – more firmly than I thought necessary, really, ‘We are never having a trolley in our house.’ Well, now we have a sort of IKEA thing – but that’s another story!

Your upbringing, your history shapes you! Sometimes you’re in reaction to it; sometimes it’s a model that you use for reference. I would suggest that as you become older your history impacts you more and more – I’m certainly finding this! Into your own adulthood and marriage you bring your own upbringing and the examples of your parents – good and bad.