Monday, June 26, 2017

You Are One of Us

Salt Lake City, Utah, is a worldwide center for genealogical research. Even the big department stores sell genealogy supplies.

One newcomer to Salt Lake City, and a non-researcher, got a job as a clerk at one of those big department stores. She received her introduction to genealogy one day when a customer came into the store and asked, “Where do I find the family group sheets?”

The new clerk, with a shocked look on her face, answered, “Family group sheets? All we carry are the king, queen, double and twin-size sheets.”

I suppose family-sized bedding is taking closeness a bit far. But having family or close friends is one of the essential needs of all people. We long for emotional support and intimacy.

Most of us are familiar with studies that have shown that people suffering from cancer or vascular problems have a higher survival rate when they enjoy a strong support system of family and friends. People need people.

Moreover, a supportive wider community can also be important. I remember reading about scores of people who gathered on a California beach one evening, lighting candles and lifting voices in song. Mostly strangers to one another, they came there to grieve the loss of 88 persons who died when a jetliner crashed into the ocean off their coast. They were not even family and friends of the victims − simply concerned residents who cared.

“Your joy, your pain, your loss, your gain − are ours...for you are one of us.” That is the powerful message of community, of family. At its best, even an Internet family can help fill our need for closeness. Your joy, your pain, your loss, your gain − can be shared. You belong. And together, we’ll celebrate what we can. And we’ll get through the rest by hanging on to each other.

Welcome to the family.
-- Steve Goodier

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