Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Priestley Sunday -- Celebrating Joseph Priestley's 281st Birthday

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Further Thoughts on Touchstones of Time

Since posting Touchstones of Time I have thought of some further implications along the lines of that thread.  I want to elaborate upon one of those interesting aspects of the metaphor of holding hands with the generations before and after me that I had not written about in that original post.

First, if you have not read that post, I strongly recommend that you do so by clicking on the link above so that the post here might tie together better without having to repeat the gist of it.

I have four grandparents, and each of those grandparents have had four grandparents.  Now, assuming there was no intermarriage among them (I assume not), that means I have 16 great great grandparents.

Next, we cannot know how many grandchildren my grandchildren might have (nor how many grandchildren, for that matter), but the number could be larger or less than the number of my great great grandparents.

Consider for one moment, now, the ethnic, geographic, educational, and other diversities in these genealogically related individuals.  As far as I know, today, I cannot even fully describe that diversity without some real effort tracking down all the family histories (I'm not even sure that I could fully do that either), but I do know that I can include people from all over the United States, Mexico, Canada, and Europe. I can also include Jews, Protestants, Catholics, agnostics, and atheists; and doctors, lawyers, bankers, teachers, scientists, saddle makers and bricklayers to mention a few. I know that if I were to look just a little outside this immediate genealogical chain to brothers and sisters there would also be physically and mentally challenged individuals, gays, and who knows what other diversity there that was, is, or will be found.

Now, this snapshot of this snippet of my family chain does not cover all of the diversity of mankind (not by a long shot).  In fact, it is only a very small part of the diversity of humanity, but it does illustrate that through time the diversity that one is tied to through their family genealogy keeps growing in ways that would astound our ancestors and possibly under impress our descendants.

I do understand that here in the United States we have celebrated and reveled in our diversity more than in most other parts of the world (though, unfortunately,  this is not universally true for all Americans).  In other parts of the world, diversity is not as prevalent as here -- yet.  But, one thing is certain, given the advances in industrial and technological development that we have experienced in the last 100 years, diversity will, no doubt, soon penetrate every corner of this planet.

We are all truly one family of man.   We should embrace this diversity and bask in the glory of it knowing we are all connected with each other. We are all part of it and benefit from it. Bigotry and prejudice have no place to exist anywhere anymore.