Human beings are quirky. Walk onto any subway or into any Starbucks and you will encounter a number of behavioral traits that our Neanderthal families would revere. There is nothing like the basic need for caffeine or transportation to tap into one’s deeply rooted genetic predeterminations.
Survival of the fittest has nothing on someone who has been cut in front of while in line for morning coffee or who is late for work and misses the morning train.
ARTISTIC ALLEGORY | LE MOT JUSTE
If we take a look at ourselves in the mirror, it’s not that hard to see the remnants of our ancestry. The jolt of energy that comes with a threat—perceived or real. Upon a deeper gaze, It might even be possible to see the ancient parts of ourselves—those atavistic traits that may have slipped through the evolutionary cracks to surface in you.
That person might just hold the key to unlocking every stress, roadblock or problem you can imagine. In fact, your brilliant, ancient self, holds grace. Either that, or your genetic ancestry may have been the very thing that created the roadblock, stressful or anxious thought plaguing you, right now. The interpretation of just how much of a percentage of your ancient origins predetermines your life or chosen by you, is up to you. Therein, lies the key to toggling between the ancient netherworlds and now—grace.
Grace dictates your dealing with or denial of what is and clouds or clarifies your judgement. Grace gives you freedom, if you let it do so. There is certainly enough scientific proof that genetically links us to our ancestors from long ago.
A study by Janet Kelso, an Evolutionary Biologist, found that many people still “…carry Neanderthal DNA,” according to “Genetic Data on Half a Million Brits Reveal Ongoing Evolution and Neanderthal Legacy, by Ann Gibbons at Science Mag.”
Imagine all who have come before you. The lifetimes (whether short or long) of hardship, toil and joy. Your forward movement was built on the progression or digression and how those ancient souls chose to live and die. The question is: Is our ancient legacy moving us forward or holding us back?
On the one hand, perhaps we are not doing the best with what we’ve been given. According to “The Bad News on Human Nature, in 10 Findings from Psychology,” by Christian Jarrett, we have not done our level best to leverage the positive side of our true human instincts. In the writer’s opinion, humans: “…discriminate against minorities and view those less fortunate as sub-human, enjoy other’s pain, view Karma with a bias toward believing that the, downtrodden of the world deserve their fate, are blinkered and dogmatic, are vain and overconfident, are moral hypocrites, and would rather electrocute ourselves than spend time in our own thoughts.”
On the other hand, we are still here. Those traits—or a portion thereof—have, in some way, helped us survive generational trials and instability.
A study performed several years ago by Ms. Kelso and a team of scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, found out exactly how profound an impact your ancient DNA might have on your current physical, mental and emotional state. The study analyzed data from 112,338 of those Britons and found, “Neanderthal variants that boost the odds that a person smokes, is an evening person rather than a morning person, and is prone to sunburn and depression.”
The grace in the acceptance or denial of our heritage—including the good, bad and the ugly—can provide solace from our transgressions and buoyancy in our progressions. The challenge in opening up to our legacy of learning, however, lies in our ability to get over ourselves, our appearances, opinions, judgements, misunderstandings, misrepresentations, obsessions, fear, ignorance, arrogance and stubbornness and move into acceptance, surrender, understanding, compassion, openness, intelligence and generosity. Imagine what might happen if we all took a step toward ancient grace.