When we hear about our ancestors, it is usually accompanied by a feeling of distance and separation. It is not that we don’t want to associate with those who have come before us. Rather, the distance in time and familiarity creates a space in between ourselves and those who came before us. It can be a very useful experience to explore your ancestry and to discover the people who came before you. In the process, you won’t only learn much about your ancestors, but also a great deal about yourself. The reality is, your ancestors may have had a greater impact on you than you now realize.
How Do Our Ancestors Affect Us?
Although we understand how we are descended from our ancestors, we rarely give any thought to how they impact us. It is a rather strange thought to entertain that somebody who lived decades before us could have any influence on our lives. But the evidence is there, we must simply be made aware of it. Your ancestors are in a large part responsible for creating the environment in which you were raised. Many of the traditions you have in your family could have been passed down from your ancestors. It’s important to record family experiences and traditions, and this can be done on paper or on websites like Our Family Tradition.
Creating A Culture
Everybody understands how human beings are influenced by their social surroundings as they age. Throughout school and interactions at home, children learn what is acceptable and normal within the given culture that they are raised in. We understand that we are a product of a particular culture, but do we understand what that culture is a product of?
Simply put, the culture by which we are influenced and in which we are raised is a product of our ancestors. Ideas, traditions, lifestyles, thought processes and everything that helps to create a functioning society and culture is passed on from generation to generation. As children are brought up around these factors, their course of life is influenced and affected.
Learning From Our Ancestors
In this way, we can see how our ancestors had a greater impact on us than we may have realized. Although our ancestors may not be around psychically, the effects of their ideas and ways of life can still be felt today. As their culture was carried down from generation to generation, it directly influenced the ways in which we were raised and developed. Diving into the nature of this influence can reveal much to us about our present condition and the type of life we are leading. This knowledge of our ancestors’ influence can help shed new found beauty and appreciation for the customs and traditions that we continue on in homage and respect.
It’s fascinating to study our family history and learn interesting facts about our ancestors. Our ancestry impacted so many things, from where we were born and raised, to how we were raised, habits and personalities we have now, and so on. Take a look at your family history and discover the neat traits that could have been passed down.
Emma is a freelance writer currently living in Boston, MA. She writes most often on education and business. To see more from Emma, say hi on Twitter @EmmaSturgis2.