The ancients knew that a man’s forebears play an important part in his identity. As ever, I cannot help but think that Romans were onto something here, something from which we in our hyper-individualised age of self-actualisation could do well to learn. For, not withstanding the popularity of sites such as Ancestry and Findmypast, we tend not give our forebears quite the same role in our lives today. But we should.
I know. I know. There is nothing that rams home the loss of your youth more brutally than the sight of your ever-balder scalp in the morning mirror. It is the daily reminder – as if you needed one – that you are not the man that once you were, your diminishing crop of hair acting as a metaphor for vitality that is ebbing away and opportunities that are long past and lost forever