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Past or Future?

Past or Future?

On CHUM FM this morning, Roger, Darren and Marilyn posed this question to each other and their audience: Who would you rather meet — your great-great grandparent or your great-great grandchild? Interestingly enough, it was unanimous amongst the hosts that they would rather meet their great-great grandparent. They said that they would like to find some links to their past regarding their personality traits, physical features, perhaps gain some words of wisdom and also learn about living life 100 years ago.

On the contrary, those who called in to answer the question were of a younger generation and they have grandparents and in some cases great-grandparents in their lives today. They were more interested to meet their great-grand children, because that meant that they would be able to see the future.

In listening to this debate, I most certainly have an opinion of my own. I just turned 45 years old and I am fortunate to have a grandmother (on my husband’s side) very much in my life. So, without a doubt, I would love to meet my relatives that came before me. Having just completed my mother’s McHenry family history book, I would love to meet the people in the stories and to learn from them.

Is it our day and age? Or is it simply our age that makes us answer “the past” vs. “the future”. I know our culture has something to do with it too. As we get older, do we become wiser? And does this lead us to gain respect for the knowledge and wisdom that our elders posses, because we see what wisdom has to offer? Perhaps it is technology, the fast pace of life, lack of personal connections due to more texts BBMs, e-mails and Facebook, that make us yearn for what the future holds and not to think about the treasures of the past? Maybe it has nothing to do with either? Maybe it is simply a personal thing – some are intrigued by history and others dazzled by what’s to come.

I was just at a funeral today, for a 19 year old young woman, who succumb suddenly to complications due to her fight with cancer. Her time on this earth was brief, but her footprint in history is very large and very deep. Someone in the future will want to know about the character traits that their ancestor possessed and how they helped her fight for what she believed in…her life. She had a great appreciation for family, her history and for life.

So whether you want meet your past or your future relatives, the important thing to remember is that they are family and you are connected…the better we respect and understand ourselves and where we come from, the better we can be to those who are in our lives right now. And the better we will be in helping to make this world a better place for everyone.

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