In Susan Cain’s new book, Bittersweet, she briefly discusses epigenetic research and how we pass down trauma from older generations to younger ones. In studies of multiple generations of mice, those who are exposed to trauma can pass down trauma to their offspring and beyond, even if they don’t raise the mice as their own.
But people with multiple generations of trauma are not doomed, despite their genetic predisposition to behaviors that mimic the trauma of their forebears. The fact is: we actually can, by our nurture of our own minds, shape our genetics for future generations. That is powerful!
Understanding family stories has also been found to be profoundly helpful to young people in shaping the story of who they are. If a young person discovers, for example, that their ancestors fled a war-torn country and built a new life for themselves elsewhere, they can feel inspired to rise above the challenges they face (which many times they will conclude are smaller problems).
Are you looking for ways to connect more with your ancestors and display your family history in a prominent place? These digital family trees and other products will help you with that!