I believe that many events took place before I was even born that certainly shaped who I would become today, and will become in the future. History is so complex and so are people. Nothing is ever isolated, everything that ever happens has an effect on every single person on Earth, no matter who they are. Today, we will have a look at a few of these events that helped shape my life.
I shall first begin in the 1800s. Most people certainly would not go back that far, but this I feel was very important. In 1830, President Andrew Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act. In 1838, the US Army began enforcing this terrible act on the Cherokee people, forcibly removing all 17,000 Cherokee from their ancestral homelands. They were loaded into boats that brought them to “Indian Territory”, where they awaited a fate not much better than Adolf Hitler’s concentration camps for the Jews. This became known as the “Trail of Tears” (Pauls, 2013). This is a bittersweet ...view middle of the document...
I value the elders’ opinions when I come to them with advice about decisions I am going to make in my life. Although I am a practicing Roman Catholic, much of my personal spiritual journey is directly connected to my Cherokee heritage. If it had not been for the Trail of Tears, I probably would not have all these things I am fortunate enough to have, although what happened to our people was a terrible thing. Seeing the world through a Cherokee’s eyes also makes me a unique individual.
Jumping way ahead to the 1960s, my father was drafted to fight in the Vietnam War. He and many of his friends tried to avoid the draft, but he ended up going anyway. He grew to respect the military, but he still feels to this day that the United States did not have a right to be there (Michael Ray, personal interview, May 7, 2014). He has a similar outlook on war today, which is something I share. I support the troops but not risking their lives unnecessarily.
On September 11, 2001, there was a series of airplane hijackings which led to the deadliest attack on US Soil in history. According to Bergen, some 2,750 were killed in New York that day, 184 in the Pentagon, and 40 in Pennsylvania (2014). This changed the way I travel forever, as it did with every other American. The heightened security made it much more of a hassle to go anywhere on an airplane. It also made me more afraid to go on airplanes. These days, I take a train to go anywhere unless it’s absolutely necessarily (for example, to go to Europe). This is important because I like to travel a lot, in fact I may be even moving to Canada next year.
In 2005, the Gulf Coast was hit by Hurricane Katrina. Over a thousand people died that day and many, many homes were destroyed, including my aunt’s. She came to live with my mom and she helped to mend the relationship between my mother and me. Before this, my mom and I had many problems and pretty much went our separate ways. Once again, something good for my family came out of something bad.
Finally, in 2013, Pope Francis became the Pope after Pope Benedict XVI resigned. He helped me restore my faith in the Catholic Church, and in fact, humanity. These are both very important aspects of my nature, I am a Catholic and I believe that humans are inherently good.