Thoughtful man with hand on chinOur genea-friend Thomas MacEntee posted “Gender Selection and the Impact on Future Genealogy Research” on his new Abundant Genealogy Blog. 

What evolved was a discussion of social issues – far more important than hoping genealogy software can keep up with fields to document DNA results, bloodlines, adopted lines, disproved lines, same sex marriages, and children assigned one identity at birth who “come out” as another later in life.

On Facebook, Miriam Robbins replied to Thomas’ thoughtful, straight forward and frank post “… If you were to talk with me 20 years ago about some of these topics, I could easily have been classified as a “hater.” It’s not that I actually *hated*, I just had preconceived ideas, based on a very narrow upbringing…”

DearMYRTLE's Profile PicMyrt’s Musings

I think many grew up with preconceived notions. Thanks to Miriam for voicing the change that can occur by embracing diversity.

In my youth, Ol’ Myrt here lived a largely insulated life in all-white middle class neighborhoods.

But as a “child of the 60s” we dealt with social unrest over the Viet Nam War, the murder of US President Kennedy, Jack Ruby shooting Lee Harvey Oswald live on TV, Bobby Kennedy’s assassination, the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the Black Panther Movement, Watts Riots (and others in DC and elsewhere).

Coming of age and questioning society’s traditions, we were shocked as students were slaughtered at Kent State.

In my case, it jolted me out of my protected, privileged way of thinking – and I wanted to reach across boundaries of color and class to try to understand. It never occurred to me to think others who were different were any less valuable a person.

I remember feeling helpless to reach out until I realized the best I could do was be open minded. Really *looking* at and *listening* to people makes a difference.

Our high school senior class president died of AIDS in the early years when we were all afraid that we’d get it just by breathing the same air. Yet, I knew Roger to be one of the nicest guys around. Trying to reconcile my respect for my friend Roger with the fear of AIDS was the beginning of my seeing beyond definitions set in my life by my parents.

I had several experiences at BYU demonstrating how preconceived notions are actually unduly harsh judgements that prevent us from living *together* comfortably in a diverse community.

Never once did another person’s lifestyle affect how I chose to live my life.

What matters most is love. ❤️

I’m still working on that.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt 🙂
DearMYRTLE,
Your friend in genealogy.