Freedom is valuable. Genealogy can connect us. Treat others well.

Note: this post is not all genealogical in nature, but yet, it is. My personal feelings are strong. This is long and I needed to get it written down and hopefully my family and future family heed my words and are proud of me and my words.

The Fourth of July. A day of much remembering for the United States. Please take a few steps back and think about what this day should fully mean and what it fails to mean in 2020.

My freedom is important. It should be the same for everyone under the flag of the United States. But, is it truly that for everyone? I honor my fellow human beings and wish we could say that all are treated equally and treated well. I will add that everyone should treat each other well and honorably.

Sadly, we still have children including babies in cages and not being treated as all children should be treated. We have children and adults across the nation that are not treated well by their own family members. We have citizens (and those who want to be citizens) who are Black children and adults afraid to go out of their homes. We have Indigenous citizens removed from their ancestral lands and not removed kindly. We have citizens who starve. We have citizens who injure and some who kill each other. In 2020.

Let’s not continue the failures. Let’s take care of each other. Let’s make sure we rally, speak, write, share, and solve issues. We need to do this well. We need to protect each other. We need to think about our words and action. We aren’t and won’t always be perfect but should do our best.  Support and  love each other, care about each other and less policing will be necessary. Let’s support law enforcement in their endeavors and train them well. Let’s provide support for those in need of physical or emotional assistance. Let’s educate our children and even adults on the truth of history and strive to provide a better history for the future.

Can we do this? Yes. Now, do it. It won’t be done overnight, but let’s start. I advocate tracing your family history and using actual records to learn about how our families interacted in the past. Don’t just take someone else’s online (or on paper) family tree as being fully accurate. Take classes, read guidebooks, check actual records online. Get educated about the aspects of searching. Eventually venture out to libraries, archives, historical societies, and courthouses to look at the many records not found online. Lean how many of us have connections that we didn’t know about. If an ancestor wronged someone, strive to do better yourself. Learn about the many religions that were part of your own family’s background. Tell their stories truthfully. Tell your nieces, grandnephews, grandchildren, children, and others the full story and how we can do better. My own ancestral research leads back to at least eight countries, at least five religions, and today our extended family includes those who are French, Black, Japanese, German, Irish, Polish, Hispanic, Swedish, and many others. My research endeavors and education has given me extended family also ancestrally from these and other places. My extended family is mostly taller than me, mostly thinner, many younger, some older, and a variety of skin colors that I had to stop and realize for this treatise of mine. Some are straight, some wavy, many LGBTQ, some extra serious, some wonderfully goofy, and yet we all care for each other.

My research and consulting business has many components and one big part is Native American research. Use whatever terminology you choose, but realize that it’s not always an easy route to trace the family histories. Family stories may go a bit off track over the years, but research pulls much of it back together. I’m proud of my involvement in researching the truth. Many records created by white men and some woman in regard to the indigenous individuals and families are not kind. They are painful to read and to have to share with the descendants. These tell the stories and we can’t change that in the past, but can do better today.

Be fair, be responsible, care for others, help others, strive to make everyone truly free and safe. Keep learning your history and the country’s history. Expand to world history.

Please wear face masks and keep a distance from each other to keep us healthy and able to take care of each other and fight for the eradication of injustice for many of your fellow human beings. We’ll all feel better.

© 2020, Paula Stuart-Warren. All rights reserved.

4 comments on “Freedom is valuable. Genealogy can connect us. Treat others well.

  1. This is a tough time for so many and I appreciate your thoughtful words. Our world gets smaller every day. There is much to be thankful for.

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