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Carlton Senior Living Blog | July 7, 2016 | By Jonita Dixon

The Importance of Heritage

heritageMothers are the unifier of the family unit – they are the person that establishes familial structure. The traditions of a family are handed down from one generation to the next through heritage and family bond: These same traditions prove to be what defines us a society members and individuals. Mom’s have an incredibly important role in the family and the role is deeply connected to family heritage.

Heritage and Family Bonds

The power of the written word is powerful indeed. Did you know that if you do not write down the traditions of a family over the course of three generations that information is lost forever. Think of it: remembering grandma and grandpa is one thing, but can you remember your great grandma and great grandpa? Our upbring defines us and plays an important role in who we are. Moms are the keepers of the heritage.

Our heritage gives our day-to-day lives greater meaning. We feel a sense of ancestral strength that we derive from our roots. Whether is the passage of recipes, life stories, and family events, these memories are what power future generations with stories and familial camaraderie. The act of sharing and honoring family customs is what binds all of the generations together, and women are like the keeper of the sacred family flame – the one’s who ensure that the generations retain knowledge of the ancestors by leading the way.

Family Traditions and Their Importance

Traditions are more than habit, they are very much like ritual – a behavior or event or action that one repeats at will over and over again. The tradition occurs at the same time every year and in the same way (for the most part). Traditions require thought and intentionality, whereas daily habits do not. Tradition is something that requires deliberate attention and a bit of something “extra” that makes it rise above the mundane day-to-day activities. Such practices become sacred and family tradition.

Heritage and the Sharing of Family History: Why It is So Important

When we practice traditions we spend time with loved ones while we simultaneously define who we are – traditions allow families to express love for one another and time to reflect on one’s life. Traditions and knowledge of them allows for greater familial stability. A person that knows their family traditions also has a greater degree of self-confidence and a sense of belonging to something bigger than themselves. Celebrating holidays, traditions, sharing stories, and family rituals helps in strengthening emotional bonds. Collecting a written or oral family history can help you and your family members gain the following advantages:

  1. We learn our personal and family values through practiced traditions.
  2. The family bond is that much stronger in families that have traditions and a heritage.
  3. The heritage of a family serves as part of a person’s identity.
  4. Heritage information provides people with a sense of family and security within that family.
  5. Remembering one’s heritage allows one to honor past ancestors.