19 September 2011

Peaceful Enterprises and Lovely Surprises - Part One

You may be wondering why I am starting yet another new theme here at Ancestors Within.  I write this blog as an "amateur" in the genealogical field, researching only my own and my husband's various family branches.  I consider myself an amateur as I am not paid for writing here.

Although I am too busy with other aspects of my life to assist on an individual basis with other people's family research, I do have the advantage of being well-qualified in the analysis of evidence, having received a university education in the social sciences.  And I love to write, which is also an advantage when recording historical information in a meaningful and creatively interesting way.  If this is quite helpful to you, that is wonderful.

With the global economy the way it is at present, you may like to know that there are plenty of ways family history research can help to make the world a better, fairer and more prosperous place.  Perhaps you see this blog as a philanthropic activity, or even as a humanitarian pursuit.

Investing in relationships

We invest so much of our emotional energy in our closest relationships. Many of our economic resources are invested in our homes and our family lives.  Many people have lost their homes during the past few years.  Many people have seen their families disintegrate through stresses of various kinds.

During adolescence, people often want to steer a path towards independence, spending more time with friends their own age rather than with those boring old people known as parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles.  Some people want to spend time away from older relatives because one or more of those relatives is seen as more of a threat or a danger than as a loving, caring, trustworthy and affectionate friend.

Adolescence is also the time when we think about the future of our own lives as individuals.  Do we want to continue our family line through ourselves?  Do we want the invest a large amount of our emotional energy in a special relationship with someone we may spend the rest of our lives with in a home of our own?

Grabbing your attention

Perhaps you have noticed that much of the media, and especially the entertainment industry, seeks our attention by tapping into our emotional interests.  People employed in the genealogical industry also do the same.  You are probably reading this blog because, on at least one occasion, you have already experienced the profound joy family history research can provide.

An emotionally insightful and personal encounter with some aspect of the past can give our lives deeper meaning, and more stability in a world of constant change.  The shallow and even predatory aspects of many commercial relationships can leave us feeling a need in our lives for more understanding and respect.  And perhaps more willing to give greater attention to our own psychological wellbeing.

Unfair businesses are driven by the fact that we often buy on the basis of emotion rather than good reasoning.  Fairer businesses employ people who make the effort to ensure that good reasoning also contributes to our decision to buy.  Some people have the mistaken belief that social enterprise is just about using social media tools to reach customers and to interact with them online.  I, on the other hand, believe that such interactions are not necessarily fair or useful.

I often receive emails from companies providing products they hope to sell to family history researchers and genealogists.  Most of those emails are very courteous and I do my best to read and respond to them.  I sometimes even mention the products when writing my blog posts here, hence the beginning of this new series.

The best businesses give us peace of mind, and may even provide us with lovely surprises.  Perhaps you can think of some examples, whether from the field of genealogy or any another industry that has helped you to discover more about your family history.

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I especially appreciate historical insights.