Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Self Esteem Insurance

Managing Stress Part 1

Self Esteem Insurance

I just read an article posted in the New York Times, "Stories That Bind Us," March 15, 2013, by Bruce Feiler.  A study done at Emory University found that the more knowledge children had about their family and its history, the better they felt about themselves, the more they saw their families as successful, and greater control they felt they had over their lives.

My great great grandfather left a wealthy dairy farm in Denmark in the 1800s to move to the western United States. He brought his wife and daughter, Johanna Larsen. Johanna kept a journal of crossing the plains. I remember hearing the stories about her recovering from the measles, walking all the way behind the covered wagon, and picking up buffalo chips to make a fire to cook their food at night.

And somehow, I knew that though I had hard things to do, I would be okay.

As a child I had a terrible case of the measles, but I knew my great grandmother had recovered from that illness and so would I. My father died when I was in first grade, and I had to move to another city and a new school. I was scared, but my great grandmother had moved to a new country and made it, so I would be okay.

It was as if she set up a legacy for those who would follow after her. Her life wasn't easy, but she solved her problems and lived a good life. I knew I came from a family of strong women, and I would be a strong woman. 

What have I learned as I study this research and look back on my family? I can see how knowledge of my family gave me strength. I want to make sure my children and grandchildren know the stories. It's self esteem insurance, and I hope to give them the best chance in life that I can.
Here's the link to the article. Read it and give your kids self esteem insurance. It's a priceless possession!

1 comment:

  1. I loved this one; of course I always enjoy whatever you write. I like the title of Self-esteem insurance. Thanks for the link; I will read it. I too have some strong women in my ancestry. I have just discovered some of the stories in the last few years. I once read the book; "Mary Fielding Smith", and whenever I would be in a hard moment of life I would say; if Mary Fielding can do it, I can do. This is a good reminder to make sure my grandchildren hear the stories.
    Blessing and hugs!