Thursday, January 5, 2017

The Family Tree. “Does It Matter?”...

I’ve done extensive family history for my own and other families. Most are curious, some exited and others hesitant (cans of worms are found under roots!).

There are always those vocal few who ask, “does it matter?”. Who cares who great--great-great- great grandpa was or where he came from or what he did?

I always answer back, “it’s part of your story, or, rather, the story you are a part of.”

It takes a special kind of self-aggrandizement to see one’s self as being independent of, and disconnected from, your lineage and, subsequently, your posterity.

Basically it’s nihilism.

But it’s nihilism dressed up as an ideology of enlightened thinking; of rising above the petty concerns of history, tradition, culture, race, family, etc.

Of course when you are young you take things for granted and tend to be self absorbed. But as you mature you either see the importance and beauty of tradition and heritage or you fall prey to the delusion of atomized existence.

You are not now, nor have you ever been, nor can you ever be, “independent”.

You are one indiscernible link in a chain that runs ten thousand miles long.

Or perhaps better stated, you are one minor character in a story that is only half way through.
Without all the story which came before you, you have no identity,  place or purpose.