Everyone has ancestors, but have you ever paused to think of their sacrifice? After all, without a whole lot of strong, resilient and resourceful people in your family tree, you probably would not be here. Honoring your ancestors is not something new. It has been practiced for centuries and consistently done by a multitude of cultures all around the world.
Your family line has survived for dozens of generations through wars, pestilence, disasters and death. With all the conveniences of modern life, it’s easy to lose touch with who we really are in life and the human connection with our loved ones. Shouldn’t we honor the ancestors who touched our lives and pay tribute to the people who came before us? This article will cover some practical ways in which you can begin honoring your ancestors.
Climb your family tree
Do some research into your family’s genealogy and experience
the thrill of discovering ancestors you never knew existed and learn more about
the ones you did know. You never know
what you might find: heart-warming or heart breaking stories, famous or
infamous relatives, tragedy or triumph.
Be sure to share all your discoveries with interested family members.
Appreciate your heritage
Regardless of where you are from or your ethnicity, everyone
should take pride in their heritage. Unless
your family is 100% Native American, you have an ancestral village where your
family came from. Locate your ancestral
village and possibly plan a trip to the “old country” to see, with your own
eyes, where your ancestors lived. If
that is not possible, learn what you can about your ancestral homeland, its
culture and customs.
Keep an ancestor’s memory alive
Help keep your ancestor’s memory alive by honoring them on a special day like Mother’s Day or their birthday. You can display one of their favorite mementos, a family heirloom or a picture of them. Cook one of their favorite dishes and have a meal in their honor. Don’t forget to mix in some of your favorite memories and stories during the meal. You can also visit their gravesite and leave flowers.
Represent your family well
One of the best ways to honor your ancestors is by living an
honorable life. As a carrier of your
family DNA, you are a reflection of all the ancestors who came before you. Make sure to live your life in a manner that
would make them proud.
It’s amazing when you consider just how connected we are to family
members who are now deceased, but our ancestors played a huge role in our
lives. The many family members who came
before us contributed the DNA that make us who we are today. As such, you may find it rewarding to make a
habit of paying homage to them.
Read related articles: Sharing Your Family Story