After my interest in Genealogy, I started pondering on some things much more than I did in the past. In this article, I will be sharing 12 life lessons I learned from my interest in genealogy. My interest in genealogy was on many levels revolutionary in my life. I started respecting relationships and families far more than I did before.
“The world is shaped by two things – stories told and the memories they leave behind” – Vera Nazarian
My Nana Brigadier M.M. Sarfaraz Khan and Nani Rosemary Anne (in 1956 & 2014)
1. It is family that matters the most in life. Friends come and go but blood will always be blood.
2. No life in this world is eternal. We all will die no matter how old or young, wise or dumb, rich or poor we are. There is a preordained date that has been set for our leaf to fall off the tree. Once we leave, all our hobbies, collections, and other worldly possessions will be left behind.
3. The reality check that we’re here in this world for such a short time. When we read exactly how long our ancestors lived, we realize how little time we have in this world. Even though the thought is spooky, it makes us stop procrastinating and prioritize our lives. We understand that we can’t take time for granted.
4. You find peace in your inner self and understand yourself more when you find out who your ancestors were and where they come from.
5. Choosing a husband is no doubt the most important decision of your life as your whole line of descendants will take his name (along with his values, habits and looks =) This decision will also dictate whether the rest of your life will be serene or a constant struggle.
6. We learn to respect our elders. Once we learn about our ancestor’s life stories and virtues, we feel pride in belonging to a good family and having moral values.
7. One also feels the responsibility to adhere to the culture and trends of one’s ancestors. If your forefathers had excellent records and was known to be a good person, you wouldn’t want to ruin their legacy and family reputation. Would you? However, if you find out your ancestors were looters, what do you do? 😛 Let me know in comments.
8. How important it is to get married and have children. That’s the only way you leave a legacy otherwise you are lost and forgotten as soon as you die.
9. No matter which part of the world you move to, you will never become one of them. You remain what you are and always have been.
10. We are so lucky to know and be able to meet our cousins.My Nani Rosemary spent 50 years of her life wondering where her cousins had been. We should cherish our family and be there for them. Even if they treat us unfairly, remember that it was not us who chose them, but God chose them for us.
11. Knowing about your ancestors makes you feel connected and closer to them. I have my great great great grandfather Walter Mabert’s (1887-1961) tins and stamp album and my great-grandfather Major Malik Muzafar Khan (1901-1989)’s diary.
My great-grandfather Major Malik Muzafar Khan’s (1901-1989) diary
12. It shouldn’t be a choice but a responsibility of one sibling from each generation to preserve family records.Also to keep a softcopy record of everyone in your extended family. It is vital to scan and preserve pictures of our ancestors for our younger generations.
My Nani Rosemary (1934-) and me, Nadiya (1985-) in 2012
My Nani Rosemary (1934-) and me, Nadiya (1985-) in 2014
Autograph by Freda Dorothy May (1912-1957) to Rosemary Anne (1934-) in 1950
Following are the links to my other Genealogy posts: