Sunday, December 17, 2023

The Power of Remembering


Recently, the RootsTech blog heralded the launch of a new program in preparation for their upcoming event next February 29 through March 2 in Salt Lake City. The blog post, called "The Power of Remembering and Being Remembered," includes a video demonstrating the strength of such a process—especially how it felt for "everyday" individuals to be remembered by those most important to them.

Emphasizing that "Your Story is Worth Remembering," the RootsTech team slated "Remembering" as their theme for next spring's conference, a fitting choice. Further, they are encouraging all of us—around the world, as only an organization like that can do—to participate by creating our own videos with that same purpose. Their social media challenge includes your chance to share as well—and even use the RootsTech audio clip, "Out of Time," if you want to participate by posting your own version of this "Remembering" meme.

As I look back on my own dad's career years—and remember several of the others who were part of that same world—I can safely say I've been influenced as I now realize all there was to remember about his life. Though he never acted as if he were the one who accomplished all he did, it is inspiring to learn his story, even after all these years.

Watching the RootsTech video, I can see why the producers say there is power in being remembered. But I also think there is a great deal of power in the other part of their title—the power of remembering. As we go through the process of learning all there is to learn about our relatives and ancestors, it does something to us, as well.

As we learn about these people important to our own life, and realize that a small part of them is actually flowing through us as well, it can inspire us and shape us, separate and apart from our own life trajectory. Knowing we now know their story is a meta-knowledge beyond just the facts of knowing the story. To know that we know is the power of remembering.

The first part—to know—is to impart upon the other the recognition that they are remembered. That is powerful in its own right—for our relative. More than that, to step back and realize that we know that we know—the power of remembering—returns that gift back upon ourselves. It makes us different, it changes us, to know that we know our family's story, for the story of those others now becomes our story, too. And that can change us. 


  1. Spot on! I'm just catching up on the last 2 weeks - I'm excited to read your insights into this topic, which interests and amazes me.

    1. The RootsTech video was certainly inspiring, and I think with your artistic skills, you could take that idea and run with it with the stories you've found in your own research, Lisa.

      Because of my long-standing interest in psychology, it did cause me to stop and consider that the very act of remembering--what we are doing with our research--has the power, on its own, to change us.


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