1) We all have unique ancestries.
2) Everybody traces all the way back to the beginning.
3) Absolutely everybody.
4) We all come from very, very old families.
It's funny how warped our concepts of ancestry and lineage are. (At least to this artist.) In my own family I was surprised by many newly released and previously guarded secrets (why?). What do you think?......
As a child I was told that my heritage includes Swedish, Irish, English, German, and Native American ancestry.
Realizing I am part Native American was pretty amazing, especially with all the movies about Indians I'd seen as a kid in theaters and on TV. We all know the real struggles of Native Americans, especially those living on reservations, problems which include alcoholism and disease. Not a pretty picture like all the myths I'd grown up believing. I felt sadness and curiousity with that discovery. Today I feel honored to have Native American ancestry.
Imagine my finding out many years later that my great-grandmother was Jewish, meaning I also have Jewish ancestry. (Follows the maternal bloodline.) That explains the inexplicable affinity all my life with Jews. What could possibly top this Christian man actually being Jewish?
Well, finding out in 2009 that I'm also African-American did the trick. (That actually explains some things.) Once again that amazing and constant affinity was, and is, present.
For my entire life, anytime I hear someone use the 'n' word or make some stupid joke about Indians, I get this sick feeling throughout my body. I used to wonder why I would be offended on a physical level about something not connected to me. Surprise, I am connected and effected on the DNA level.
My purpose in writing this brief article is to make you think about the uniqueness of your own heritage -- who you are. Remember, everybody comes from an 'old family' that traces all the way back to the very beginning of human existence. Each and every one of us.
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© Eric Jonsson 1985-2022.
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