Lessons from our forebears
As we are about to troop to cemeteries to commemorate our dead, it is worth recalling that those who went before us are worth remembering from two angles. The good side and the bad side. Hence, All Saints Day and All Souls Day.
There are the saints and there are those who are not yet saints thus have yet to enter heaven. All Souls Day is supposed to be for the latter.
Our dear departed have actually these two sides for they were not perfect, as we are not perfect. Their good side we have to hold as examples and try to improve on. Their good deeds and virtues are worth telling to our kids and their kids, so forth and so on. By such examples they might follow the path and become assets to society.
By their mistakes, actual lessons in life can be deduced to avoid committing the same thing or incurring the same shortcomings. It is coming to terms with such weaknesses or downside of a family that we can proceed in life and avoid the same pitfalls. They are valuable therefore as these cannot be ignored by siblings and other relatives because they are there in our faces. We just have to accept and deal with these and exert all the necessary efforts to become better in our own time.
So for better effects or results, the holidays should involve some contemplation. A mental recounting of the good deeds and the bad ones. It is by deeply analyzing these that we can harness for future generations the lessons they bear.
In other words, from these or behind any flower laid down on a grave, or some rice cake cooked in celebration, or some drinks partaken to spice up the occasion, lie the lessons we have to appreciate and apply.
Otherwise, the significance of the occasion would have been missed. And it would be a pity for us people who should have enough brains to think and look beyond the formalities or the superficial.**