Etymology先 (선) – first, previous
祖 (조) – grandfather, ancestor
We are resultant beings, harmoniously creating relationships within the universe. No person came into the world because he or she wanted to. We were born because of our parents. The same is true of our parents, their parents, and all of our ancestors. We owe our births to the generations of ancestors who preceded us. People are the product of human history.
Each one of us is the bearer of all the traits derived from countless ancestors. Even if we think that our face is just ours, it is actually the result of tens of thousands of years of ancestral history.
The leaves fall from the trees in the fall, new buds appear on the branch in the spring, and the garden stands green in the summer. Likewise, behind each of us stand countless generations of our ancestors, with whom we are bound by ties of blood. As their descendants, we nevertheless live as their representatives. What is the basis of our lives? The true love of our ancestors and their life energy are the basis of the bloodline that we need to pass on to new generations.
Not only do we have good ancestors, we also keep in touch with all the evil ancestors. Therefore, when we analyze our character, we will see that those traits that we inherited from good ancestors draw us in one direction, but after all, some part of our character was inherited from vicious ancestors. Some people are fortunate because they have good ancestors, and some people have nothing but misery because their ancestors were bad people.
On death’s doorstep, grandparents pass on the best to their children, right? Just as our ancestors passed on the fruits of their labors to their descendants, so we should with the same heart act for all humanity and live in a way that leaves some result for the world after us. We must surpass our ancestors.