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Never Forget, They Say
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"Never forgot where he came from" is an encomium frequently attributed to someone, such as Tim Russert, who was praised, even canonized, for a solid week as a conscientious reporter, devout, generous, honest, and loving towards his family. "He never forgot where he came from"--as though his back story in a Catholic blue collar family was the sole and sufficient reason for his personal attributes.

Maybe. But I know many people, terrific people, who are generous and loving and intelligent in spite of, not because of, their backgrounds. They grew, like the lotus, out of the muck and mire of pain and abandonment and poverty into full humanity. They knew the full measure of poverty and depression and accepted it (it is as it is) and then turned resolutely to the light of love and growth.

They are the survivors. They do not drag their past with them as a burden, but take the lessons learned, experiencing empathy for their fellow beings and turn outward, as the lotus to the sun, to bloom above the murky pond.

Sometimes you have to forget and move on.

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