When we think about our grandparents’ great-grandparents, do we know anything? And why would that matter?
So, you’re thinking, what I don't know won't hurt me. Maybe it can. There is something very deep and significant in knowing our bloodline. Knowing where we came from and who we came from gives us a sense of validation and purpose.
There are over 2 million people on Ancestry.com. These are people who are yearning connection and longing to know about a piece of their life that they have no clue about. Why is this?
When my niece read a letter that was written about 50 years ago from my great aunt to my mom, tears came to her eyes. She asked me if there were any more letters. Unfortunately, this was the only one. It was incredibly amazing to her to learn that her great-great Aunt Josie, from a farm in Speonk, used to can tomatoes, pickle all kinds of vegetables and single-handedly took care of a farm almost every day of her life. She also learned that Aunt Josie never left a 1-mile radius of where she lived. Hard to believe! To you it may not be so interesting, to my 19-year-old niece, it was magical!
You may think your story, experiences and knowledge won’t matter to anyone after you’re gone. Today, we all have the power, every single one of us, to pass on our knowledge and educate our future generations, including the ones we may never get to meet. You can leave a thumbprint in history.
Think about this. The younger children of today don't know what the dial was for on a telephone. They don’t know how we were strangling ourselves with the telephone cord when we spoke to a friend for hours on end. They don't understand the sheer panic we felt when we couldn't find the TV Guide, wondering how we will know what's on TV that night. Could today’s generation ever imagine the angst we felt when reading the tiny little fold-up map in the car on a family road trip, and then not being able to fold it back up the right way when we were done?
Generations change, cultures change and we all learn to move on with the times. Mostly things get better and easier. However, some of us like remembering what it was like to walk into a room where every person was not looking into that tiny little screen in their hand.
Be proactive, be mindful and be the one who takes charge of passing on a piece of yourself, where you came from and what a typical day in your life was like while you’re still here on earth. Letters, cards, stories, gifts, there are too many ways to mention how you can leave a mark in the world. You would be educating the future; there is power in that.
All of you reading this have lived and loved, gained and lost, and are still here today moving on with each brand-new day. Our families, friends and younger generations need what you have inside of you. If you’re a mentor, you know what it feels like to gift a piece of your knowledge, experience and heart. Now make sure you are gifting the same to your future bloodlines. You are the ancestor NOW! Don’t let this opportunity slip on by.
Susan Capurso can be reached at email@example.com or via her website: www.TheLegacyDoula.com.