Amazing Grit of Our Ancestors

Doctors, dentists, sick leave, vacation time, weekends, news, books, washing machines, buses, cars, and planes enhance our lives today. Our hectic and difficult lives are nothing like what our ancestors lived through.

Back in the 10th or 11th century, our ancestors survived with much less. The life span was shorter. Their stories were unreal. Daily living was a chore, every day, 52 weeks per year.

I recently read Maybe, Maybe Not by Robert Fulghum. In one chapter, Fulghum mused about his ancestors, creating an image of the kind of life they may have lived. He ends the small chapter this way:

“My gene strain survived those hard times. The members of my ancestral family impress me because of their sheer grit. I’m proud to be their heirs. I think of them when I get knocked down by the circumstances in my own life. And I get up and go on again in memory of tough company, for the sake of those who come after me.”

This book inspired me to think back. There’s an obscurity to ancestral line. Unless you’re into genealogy, there’s a good chance you don’t know the names of your great-grandparents’ mother and father.

When we’re so focused on our own little bubbles, it’s hard to imagine what life was like seven generations ago, or what it will be like seven generations from now.

I wonder what life was like for whoever was named “Price” 600 years ago. What kinds of things did they deal with every day? How did they raise their kids? What were their jobs? What were their dreams? How did the hardships form them? Were they optimistic? Did they tell jokes? What was their spiritual life like? Did they go to church? How long did they live?

I also wonder how I will impact the ongoing line by the way I live my life. How will my decisions affect my descendants 150 years from now?

Interesting to think about!

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