All of us have ancestors. Some we celebrate and some, well, you know. Most of us descend from the proverbial mixed bag of humanity, from those who were saintly and those whose lives may have been filled with some measure of mischief. Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, “Every book is a quotation; and every house is a quotation out of all forests, and mines, and stone quarries; and every man is a quotation from all his ancestors.” And we hear similar sentiments from John Walsh.
John Walsh is a partner in the East Greenwich-based communications firm, Walsh & Associates. He writes a monthly Op-Ed column for the Providence Journal, which published an earlier version of this essay.