Lewis Mumford said, “Every generation revolts against its fathers and makes friends with its grandfathers.”

If this is true, then it means that we’ve got to ensure our families, and our sons and daughters, are equipped to know their grandfathers, and great grandmothers, and great great grandfathers, as much as possible.

What are we doing to make sure that happens? (It doesn’t matter if we have children now, or even plan on having any in the near future. The best way to create the future is to be prepared.) What are we doing to make our family history accessible? To make it resilient and ensure it survives any one family “keeper of the records”? What are we doing to make sure the young among us actually hear these stories from the living, and get a sense (from a lively storytelling!) of where they’ve come from?

If we want strong families, where some generations rebel against others even while maintaining a larger coherence as family, it starts with intentionally creating and conserving a family, like anything else.

I was fortunate to be born into one that just worked in these practical ways and more. I hope I can do the same for my children, in time.