I was initially drawn to this article about recent archaeological digs in London in the current National Geographic because of my deep ancestral ties to this personally venerated city. While reading about the some of the fascinating finds and imagining they contained a possible connection to a distant cousin or maybe even a great grandparent, I was reminded of two truths that apply to all human beings. The first was from this quote :
“These excavations have provided us with fascinating snapshots into the lives of Londoners through the ages,” says Don Walker, a human osteologist, or bone specialist, for MOLA (The Museum of London Archaeology). “It makes you realize that we all are just small, passing players in a very long-running story.”
and the second one from this one, again from the aforementioned bone specialist Walker as he speaks about the lure of the city of London ,even though its living conditions were less than ideal, and in some cases, quite despicable :
And yet London still seemed to be a powerful draw for country folk seeking a better life. Isotope analysis reveals that nearly half of the skeletons tested were individuals who had grown up outside the city, some having migrated from as far away as northern Scotland. “It would seem that 14th-century London was already drawing people from all around Britain, just as it does today,” Walker says.
The two truths that I glean from these quotes are this – 1) we are all temporary beings and 2) we all are driven by the desire to live the best possible life we can manage or attain. In both instances we are just like our ancestors . And while these gleanings may be disconcerting to some, for me they foster a sense of peace. Because of the temporary nature of our lives, we all are free to try to achieve anything we so desire. And when we do so, we operate on the highest level of human endeavor in the sense that we are only trying to do what our ancestors and their ancestors before them and so on, tried to do. We are all part of the same human pageantry, which alone should make us all feel not only more emotionally attached to our ancestors, but to our fellow man as well.