Today’s Tip: Be an empathetic family historian and genealogist!
As we move through our work, and the lives of others, we MUST remember to be sensitive!
Something happened to me just a little while ago that made this tip come to mind.
I was connecting with a newly found cousin and we quickly came to discover that, since we were of differing generations, we knew different people in the same family. While this is very nice from a genealogy standpoint, it caused us to have very different experiences with the same family branch. While the stories messed very nicely, there was a hugely sad overtone to the folks we were discussing, their lives, the turns their lives took, and their ups and downs.
As genealogists, it is incumbent on us to be extra empathetic as individuals as we work with our newly found relations.
I fully realize that one of my previous tips was BE BOLD! I just say in this tip, BE EMPATHETIC! Remember we are dealing with what can be extraordinarily sensitive issues. What may seem like a folksy story to us, might be one that is full of angst, or anger, or sadness, or hilarity for someone else.
There are always two sides to each coin we flip. While two folks might be holding the same coin, they also might be looking at differing sides.
Plus just the other day I was SO excited to discover a ‘new’ cousin, barraged them with questions and communications, only to be told that they were dealing with some serious health issues. I sheepishly backed off and ratcheted down my energy and approach to match their situation, not mine.
So remember to tread with a kind and open heart! We are dealing with real people and their lives, even if they happen to have already shuffled off this mortal coil.
Onward To Our Past,