My trip to Peru included visits to many of that country’s World Heritage Sites. These sites (there are 878 throughout the world and ten in Peru) are designated as such for holding “cultural or natural heritage with outstanding universal value.” The United States has 20 World Heritage Sites, including the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, not far from where I live. Without knowing what was on the list, I’ve visited 18 of the 20 over my lifetime.
I’ve never paid much attention to the World Heritage designation, but my recent trip caused me to be curious about the list and what the designation really meant. I like that term “outstanding universal value.” In other words, if we visit these places, what can we see or learn that is additive to life? How does what we see influence and add value to our lives?
What are our own, unique “heritage sites” that inform and provide value to our lives? What have we done or seen or learned from others that can be universally applied, useful, helpful? That serves as rudder to our actions, or wind to our sails?
My paternal grandmother, Lillian, read the natural world and people so well that she saw or anticipated events before they happened. She taught me this skill, pulling me out in the yard in early spring to show me how I could “see” which daffodil bulb would open first. The ability to read the energy of things is most definitely one of my “heritage sites.” I’ve used it, consciously or unconsciously, my entire life. I use it very deliberately now when I am working with an entrepreneur to help that person “see” their stuck places that hamper business growth.
Seems to me that we all have our personal “heritage sites” and being aware of them helps us move through the daily decisions of life and business. The trick is to sort out what we have that has that universal value that UNESCO defines. Not all heritage is useful, just as not all natural or historical sites have the World Heritage designation. Pick the heritage that serves you well, and your personal and business life will be richer.