I wear T-shirts of colleges I didn’t attend.
I also wear T-shirts of colleges I did attend, but I have a small set of college T-shirts from schools that I didn’t go to – colleges that I have never even visited.
Truthfully, part of me did go to those colleges – some pieces of my DNA went to college there. My great grandparents attended the college, so maybe it IS my college after all?
Somehow wearing the shirts of my ancestors’ colleges expands my sense of self, expands my perspective, and expands my sense of the possible.
I enjoy learning about history. We humans are all a big extended family, so all history is “family history.” William Faulker’s quote that “the past is never dead, it’s not even past” resonates with me.
I seek stories of people who lived full lives before me, my own ancestors and those of others, so that I can empathize and discover what lived principles enriched their experience. Then with that information, while I still have a chance, I can bring more of that element into my own life by adopting that principle.
And when the protagonists in the stories wish they had done less of something, I can do less of it.
In many ways, I feel like am continuing the lives of my ancestors, and so I will use their stories to fulfill some of their wishes and live a better life myself.
Nothing illustrates a principle as well as a good story, so stories – and T-shirts – are the tools by which I improve and multiply my lived existence.