This weekend I was playing with #4. I will admit that this kid has created a soft spot within me. Something about the way he looks into my eyes and smiles. He is the first boy who looks JUST like my wife, and it is so cute to see a little reflection of her walking around. I kiss him and hold his little stinky butt all the time. While he was sitting on my lap this weekend, I was working on a project. This is a project I started years back but quit due to discouragement – a family tree (and family website).
I mean no disrespect in any way by this comment, but I am just being real. The last reunion we had, I attempted to get photos from one of the guys in my family (self-proclaimed family photographer). My intentions were purely to scan them so that they would be preserved and available for all in a central repository. There is a lot more to story (I won’t go into detail), but let’s just say my request was met by resistance, and later on this guy passed away. All this to say I have short tolerance for old ignorance. How I respect my elders more than most, and feel there is a plethora of knowledge to obtain from them, I can’t deal with that stubborn ignorance sometimes. That ignorance that drives young people away and prevents family history from being preserved. You all know that one person who is stuck in their ways. We have clumps of history lost because certain people choose to hoard family information, and only reveal it if you are there under their terms. Those people who use their leverage (whether that be photos or knowledge) because that validates them. This is bigger than someone taking credit for something. The problem with this is most of these people hold on to it, and then die. You see my family is mostly gone. My paternal side is non-existent (story for another day). My maternal side I have one sibling. My mother, grandmother and grandfather passed away. There are no aunts, no uncles…so everything is on the great level.
So what I am dealing with is trying to convince an older generation that there needs to be a new way of thinking. We are entering into the next generation, and with that comes a fresh, new, innovative perspective. We are in the 21st century now, and it is time that we start to utilize many of the digital communication options that are now available for us. We have resources now that would allow us to keep in touch, network, and share information like we never have before. Problem is people are set in their ways and don’t want to change.
I am tired of people not investing back into the youth. If no information is transferred, how do they think future family reunions will occur? And quite frankly, I am frustrated with the way our community doesn’t bond. We have so many talented individuals in our family and could achieve so much growth, but we can unite because people either get jealous when another is successful, or have old issues they never forgave people for. I must admit, I am envious of other cultures at times. Mexicans will put 22 people in a house, and they all work and save their money, and do what they have to do for the better of the family. I have the utmost respect for their work ethic, diligence, and way their families stay tight knit. I admire how the Jewish community invests money back into their own. I like how Indian people network with one another, share resources, and study hard to pave a way for themselves.
I am getting off track, but I just wanted to vent. It is just sad that asking for family history, or trying to organize a family reunion is like pulling teeth (that aren’t loose).