Tuesday, 22 October 2013

non oblitus, he tangata

- An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet, regardless of time, place, or circumstance - Chinese proverb - 

Non oblitus is latin for not forgotten, or don't forget.

In 2004 my Dad took my Poppie back to where his parents were from, the Shetland Isles in Scotland. He brought back numerous things that had the Thomson family motto and tartan on it. One was a keyring they sent me in the States that said "non oblitus". 

I have seen non oblitus translated into many different things. Not forgotten, don't forget, not forgetful, not forgetting, and do not forget me after death. As with such things I have chosen to take from own meaning from it as well. 

Non oblitus to me means several things. Don't forget where you come from, your ancestors, your family, the people who are the reason why you are here. Those you never even got to meet and those that played a part in your life. It means the past and it means the present, and in some ways the future too. Those people that will never meet me, because one day I will just be the past and someone's ancestor as well. It means don't forget them because they helped make you what you are, and no matter where you are or what you do you carry a part of them with you somehow. A like or dislike, a memory, a habit, how you look and how you act. 

In two words it tells me about my existence and my purpose. 

He aha te mea nui o te o? He tangata! He tangata! He tangata! 

Last year Kim had this on her bedroom wall and she told me what it meant. 

What is the most important thing? It is people! It is people! It is people! 

This immediately struck a cord with me. I think I have said before, wherever you go it is the people who make it what it is. It is nice to be alone sometimes and there are times when this is a good thing, but I think overall people make the most impact. 

I think I have also said before, that I don't think everyone in the world that I care about will ever all be in one place at once. It does make me a bit sad, but I also love that I have people in all different places that I can turn to when I need to and that are on my side. They really are the most important thing.

A few weeks ago I had the words "non oblitus, he tangata" tattooed on my wrist. I think their meaning goes together so well. The literal translation would be something like "do not forget the people". I like the idea of the old latin mixing with the Maori language, since New Zealand is a fairly young country, and there is no telling how old the Maori language is either, and my family came from Scotland with so much history, to New Zealand. It is like the past and present, my ancestors and the people that make up my life now all rolled into one. I like the idea enough that I have made it permanently a part of me. 

So here's to the people, my people, may they never be forgotten. 


1 comment:

  1. I Love it!!! I agree it all goes well together and makes perfect sense and so you! It has very deep meaning that you carry with you and will always be reminded of Family and Friends, past and present when you look at it :)