Sometimes you just have to wonder: Is it worth it? Does anybody else really care about what I'm doing?
This is a common lament heard by personal historians. Modern life is hectic, to be sure. Many Americans lead busy lives. Many families today are too wrapped up with coping with the present to fully appreciate their past. That extends to their children.
Even when a few minutes of down time pops up, kids are more likely to spend them watching TV, playing video games, visiting You Tube or myspace, text messaging friends or hunkering down with their iPods than listening to stories about grandma or great uncle Harry.
An interest in family history is rare in a younger person. It usually shows up later in life. Fortunately, most people develop an interest in their family history at some point. Sadly, that interest is often piqued after the death of a family member when the realization of what has been lost sinks in. But, at some point, most people want to know.
Every family has an "alpha child," one who takes an active interest in preserving family history. At some point, your family's alpha child will emerge.
Remember, that person whose eyes glaze over now when you go off on a good-old-days rant today, may be the same person that will be asking questions about those days later.
So, for now, share details of your family history when the time is right, as is suggested here. Someday those seeds you plant today will bear fruit. And here's a poem in praise of those alpha children who have cleared our paths to family knowledge.
Reminder. To mark Personal History Month, I'll be offering a free mini-course in how to write a personal history throughout the month of May. Drop by this site beginning on Tuesday, May 1 for the first installment.