Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Will You Survive

I've been working on a scrapbook for my family's ancestry, but I want to go beyond that.  I don't want future generations to just know names & dates; I want them to know stories about their grandparents and great great grandparents.  These stories not only give us a sense of continuity and belonging; they also give us strength for hard times and wisdom to not make the same foolish mistakes.  Today's society believes itself to be very connected because of cell phones and internet, but in many ways it's more disconnected as our relationships have become a mile wide and an inch deep.  We may know silly details about a person because of Twitter updates without knowing what their character is truly like or what they value most in life.  So much of our culture is being lost, and we are traveling at lightning speed to the fat, lazy humans in Wall-E.  We have already forgotten many of the skills necessary for our survival and have become dependent upon other, less "advanced" cultures to provide these things for us.  I could chase so many mental rabbits right now with all these issues, but I want to refocus on what I want from you.  I want you to talk to your parents/grandparents/aunts/uncles/cousins while there is still time.  If they have lots of photos of relatives, make sure there is a name on the back so you know who it is in the picture.  Ask them what was going on in the picture or why the photo was taken.  Ask them to tell you stories.  Sometimes it's not enough to ask them to tell you about their childhood or past; sometimes you have to ask leading questions that will jog their memory, such as, "What did you do the night before your wedding to prepare for being married?" or "What did Great Grandma look like?" or "What did you do when it was so hot and there was no a/c?"  Don't let your family history and the wealth of wisdom die out with your generation.  Don't be like the fat people in Wall-E.

If you're in my family, can you name these people?