Saturday, November 13, 2021

Family Stories: A Thanksgiving Message

Family Stories

“Today we give thanks, most of all, for the ideals of honor and faith we inherit from our forefathers—for the decency of purpose, steadfastness of resolve and strength of will, for the courage and the humility, which they possessed and which we must seek to emulate. As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them.”—President John F. Kennedy, Thanksgiving Day Proclamation, Nov 1963.

What a wonderful tribute to our heritage and our obligation to live up to it. Did you know that a study by doctors Marshall Duke and Robin Fivush showed that the more children know about their family’s history, the stronger their sense of control over their lives, the higher their self-esteem and the better they believe their families functions?

The doctors developed a measure called the “Do You Know?” scale that asked children to answer 20 questions about their family such as:

  • Do you know where your grandparents grew up?
  • Do you know where your parents met?
  • Do you know of an illness that occurred in your family?

The scale turned out to be the best single predictor of children’s emotional health and happiness. Two months after they finished, September 11, 2001 happened. None of the study families were directly impacted by 9/11, but they were subject to national trauma. Again, the children who knew more about their families were more resilient or better able to moderate stress.

President Kennedy was spot on, in pointing out that we should be grateful for the ideals of honor and faith we inherit from our forefathers and that the best way to honor them is to live by them.

Gpa Mann and StoriesThis Thanksgiving let’s take time to share family stories that illustrate decency, steadfastness, strength, courage, and humility with our children and grandchildren. They will be better able to thrive in a world where fear and uncertainty abound. Our families will be stronger and our community improved as a result. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Thanks for all you do to make our community a wonderful place!


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