There’s plenty of fun to be had in this world, and truthfully, one of the tougher decisions is deciding the activities that are worthy of your time, and which should be left behind. In reality, you can probably cut down on things like staying up to date on your social media channels, and it’s not as if you need to see every Netflix television series that comes out. There are some activities that are vastly underrated, ones that can enlighten your life, and which are worth pursuing. Learning about your family history is one such example. Below, we take a look at a few reasons why you should pursue this journey and offer some tips on how you can go about it.
Conversations With Your Parents
One of the best places to start when it comes to learning about your family’s history is by having chats with your relatives. You’re probably used to just talking about everyday things with your parents, but no-one says that you have to keep things to just those topics. Why not dig a little deeper, and learn something about your family at the same time? Your parents are going to know some of the stories of your past, and it’s a great way to get your interest moving in the right direction! And this approach brings another benefit, too: it can provide some pretty special bonding time between you and your parents.
Where You’ve Come From
You know where you were born and raised, and at some point you’ll have an understanding of the local forces that shaped you. But do you know where you really come from? You might have an attachment to your city or town, but you’ll also have connections to other parts of the world, too. You’ll be able to learn something about your family’s lineage from your parents, such as which continent you’re from, but it’s also possible to dig a little deeper. The best dna test can help you to discover which regions of the world you’re from, which can be quite revelatory! If you don’t know anything about your family’s past, then you might be surprised to see which corners of the planet your tribe hail from.
Who Your Relatives Are
When it comes to thinking about our families, we usually think just in terms of our immediate families and closely-related extended family (such as our aunties, uncles, and cousins). But the truth of the matter is that you’ll have many, many relatives that you’ve never met or heard of. Digging into your family’s history can help to reveal distant relatives who could be located all over the world. Wouldn’t it be interesting to know that you’ve got a distant cousin living in, say, New Zealand or Norway? Sure it would. You don’t have to reach out and get in touch if you have no interest in it, but the option is always there.
Something To Tell Your Kids
Stories help to bond us together. They create a narrative of our lives. And your history is also your children’s history. Rather than reading them the stories of popular children’s authors, why not tell them the story of where they’ve come from? It can be pretty exciting to be told a bedtime story that ultimately ends with their birth! Of course, it’s unlikely that you’ll have all the information you need to create a gripping tale from beginning to end. When you come up against a couple of holes in the story, take some creative license and fill in the blanks on your own.
To Get Some Perspective
We all tend to focus on the here and now, and it’s not hard to see why — life can be pretty tough! But it’s also important to get some perspective from time to time. It can help us to see things for how they really are, which will generally mean seeing our problems as not as important as we previously thought. It’s kind of difficult to get wrapped up in the small inconveniences of modern life after you’ve dived into your family’s history, and connected yourself to the past. In the course of your research, you may come across stories of hardship that your ancestors had to deal with. Would they complain about getting stuck in traffic or not being able to afford the latest iPhone? We doubt it!
Another underrated benefit of learning about your family’s history is that they can provide something of a buffer against a world that is always changing. In a period when things move so quickly, it can be difficult to grasp onto anything for very long. Through your research, you’ll likely discover a common thread that runs through your family tree. It could be that people were generous, or working class, or doctors, or anything else. In a world that’s forever shifting, sometimes holding on to these little details can be the life raft that allows you to navigate through life.
You’ve Made It This Far
We can sometimes take our existence for granted, but really, it’s something of a miracle that we’re here at all. Indeed, the greatest achievement that everyone alive will make will be coming into existence and being born. And it’s likely that you’ll have an even deeper appreciation for this fact when you learn more about your relatives and learn about the obstacles they had to overcome that led to you.
It’s Your Story
Ultimately, the best reason for researching your family’s history is because it’s your story. Whether you like it or not, the stories and lives of your ancestors have an impact on who you are. And by uncovering their stories, you’ll be able to learn a little more about yourself, where you’ve come from, and where you’re going. In learning about the lives of your relatives, you’ll also uncover a pretty important truth, too — that there is a blank page in the book where you can write your own story. What will your page say?