Thursday, February 25, 2010

Generations

Picture from here

When I was a young, young adult, I spoke with an older woman and she was convinced that I was from Denmark because of my "accent."  (I don't think I have one.) She couldn't believe that I was born and raised and had lived primarily in thr Northwestern United States.

Then a few years later, my friend's husband was a graduate student teaching some class at the the university. One day he came to me and said, "You have a lot of Danish in your ancestry, don't you?"  He was asking because there was a Danish exchange student in one of his classes & he swore we could be twins-yes her hair was different & she dressed in a different style-but twins none the less.

I do have a lot of Dane in me.

In our church congregation, there is a man who's grandmother (or great-I am not sure), share's my maiden name.  Even though he is young, everytime I look at him, I see my paternal grandfather's eyes & face.

We are so connected.
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I just finished watching an episode of a series on PBS called "Faces of America."
It is facinating.
Henry Louis Gates, Jr. has researched the geneology and family history of a number of famous Americans.
In this episode, he asked each of his famous Americans if what they have learned has changed how they see themselves.  They all answered in different ways.

How would you answer?
How would I answer?

If we really, really knew all that our forebearers went through, how would that change us?  Would it?
Would it explain why we are drawn to certain geographical areas?  Would it explain why we prefer certain types of activites over others? Would we have different feelings towards the people around us if we knew our true connections?

Would we make different decisions based on what consequenses our choices would have on generations following us?

1 comment:

  1. Yes, I think we live our lives very much for the people who laid the plans for us. How could I turn my back on things that my forebearers tried so hard to give me. I do thing this is much of the reason that members of our faith who have heritage in our faith have such strong ties to the church. One of my favorite stories of my paternal grandfather has to do with him delivering an "iron lung" to a child who was dying. It was snowing and no one else could get to her. My Grandpa did. My Dad is very much the same way. He will stop anything and "do it" if it needs to be done. I try to do those things too, I'm suppose to, it's in my blood. Sadly, I don't always live up to that though. I am working on it. Wow, that was a long comment.

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