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Posts tagged ‘family’

Why Can’t We All Get Along?

September 24, 2015

Susan Marg

© racorn

© racorn

Millennials, born between 1981 and 2000, have never known a world without computers. They get all of their information and do most of their socializing on the Internet. I find that amazing.

Political, social, and cultural events are part of what makes us who we are. We’re often closer to those our own age, give or take a few years, than we are to our parents. We have more in common with those who experienced the same things growing up that we did – the same music, the same movies, the same technology — or lack of technology. We visit the same malls and shop at the same stores as our friends.

I remember my two-year old nephew, who’s a Millennial, loading a movie he wanted to watch into the VCR. He didn’t have to ask Mom or Dad. He just did it. This was in 1990, about ten years before DVDs became popular and no one had ever heard of streaming. Watching him I thought: well, so much for learning delayed gratification. Yep, that’s something Millennials have never learned.

Millennials are different from previous generations. And that’s neither good nor bad. We all have our faults and foibles, but that doesn’t mean we can’t all get along.

Last month in the August 23 issue of Parade, actor Chris Elliott, a baby boomer, and his daughter, actress Abby Elliott, acknowledge the generation gap. In the article they discuss how they stay close. It helps that they are in the same business, show business, and they have each other’s back. They also believe that the family that laughs together stays together. In other words, it helps to have a sense of humor.

Offering advice to her elders, Abby points out that “LOL” does not mean “Lots of Love.” (For those who don’t know, it means: “Laughing our Loud.”) From her perspective, writing “RIP LOL” in sympathy would not be appropriate.

While I reserve the right to interpret “LOL” any way I want, I won’t be putting it on a condolence card anytime soon.

© 2015 Susan Marg – All Rights Reserved

Happiness is Being Part of a Family

March 25, 2015

Susan Marg

Charles M. Schultz rhapsodized, “Happiness is a warm puppy.” Comedian George Burns joked, “ Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city.”

Since so many life histories and memoirs are about family, I thought it’d be fun to find some quotes about those whom we know best. I mean, if we can’t laugh at our family, who can we laugh at – besides ourselves?

A family is a unit composed not only of children, but of men, women, an occasional animal, and the common cold.

Photo by: KIDS – © everett225

Photo by: KIDS – © everett225

  •  Ogden Nash

No amount of law enforcement can solve a problem that goes back to the family.

  •  Edgar Hoover

Insanity runs in my family. It practically gallops.

  •  Cary Grant

I know it’s a cliché, but the whole family is just whacked. I mean, we’re all out of our minds. They’re the funniest, most eccentric bizarre people I’ve ever met, my siblings.

  • Dana Carvey

To each other, we were as normal and nice as the smell of bread. We were just a family. In a family even exaggerations make perfect sense.

  • John Irving

Your basic extended family today includes your ex-husband or -wife, your ex’s new mate, your new mate, possibly your new mate’s ex and any new mate that your new mate’s ex has acquired.

  • Delia Ephron

There is no such thing as fun for the whole family.

  • Jerry Seinfeld

I think it’s fascinating that I receive attention for what people perceive to be a level of manliness or machismo, when amongst my family of farmers and paramedics and regular Americans, I’m kind of the sissy in my family.

  •  Nick Offerman

I looked up my family tree and found out I was the sap.

  •  Rodney Dangerfield

If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance.

  •  George Bernard Shaw

So clear out your closets and make your family skeleton dance by writing a life or family history.

Research Puts Leaves on Family Tree

September 19, 2014

Susan Marg

01_86_familie

A family portrait from Time Tales.

In an interview with John Wilkens of the San Diego Union-Tribune, author David Laskin talks about his book The Family: A Journey Through the Heart of the Twentieth Century. As a historian he traced several branches of his family tree, through tragedy and triumph, from the Holocaust to the modern state of Israel. A third branch formed Maidenform Brands here in the U.S. Laskin’s comments about his undertaking are relevant to everyone with an interest in the lives of their ancestors. I quote some of them here.

Why he writes historical non-fiction:

“To me, it’s the most vivid and exciting and accessible doorway into the past. When you read, let’s say, a history of immigration to the U.S. through Ellis Island or an account of the settlement of Israel, you get the facts, you get the atmosphere, you get the economic basis. When you read about people’s lives and their struggles and their dreams and their heartbreak, you really live the past.”

What he learned about himself:

“I learned that I have a lot more in common with my family than I ever thought… It’s funny in some ways that I’ve done this book because I was never very family-minded growing up. I found many family occasions quite excruciating.”

“I feel in many ways I am carrying on some of the family traditions… writing, recording, keeping the written word, keeping the family annals going.”

Why he admires his ancestors:

“I think everybody says this who looks back at their immigrant ancestors or their pioneer ancestors or their war hero or war grunt ancestors – my God, the courage, the stamina, the ability to withstand hardship.”

How he hopes to inspire others:

“My dream is that when people close my book, the next thing they do is go on ancestry.com or familysearch.com and start looking for their own family stories. Beyond that, to plumb and to research and to analyze their family ties to history.   To connect the dots for themselves.”

And if you’re a “mad, crazy researcher” like Laskin, “you can find out a lot.”

For more of David Laskin’s perspective, the complete interview is here.

For the book itself, described as beautifully written, densely textured, and at times heartbreaking, visit davidlaskin.com.