Friday, September 26, 2014

"Everybody Lives!"--and Other Genealogy Tips from the Doctor

Believe it or not, the Doctor would make a fantastic genealogist with the wisdom he has acquired from over his 900 year lifespan. Several of the ideas and gems he shares with his companions can be applied family history and the pursuit of our ancestors.

1. Books are the Best Weapons!  
“You want weapons? We’re in a library! Books! The best weapons in the world!” (S 2, Ep 2)
Indeed they are! Many library-rats would give their right arms for one that covers the surface of a planet—and a genealogist would never be seen again in such a building! But the Doctor makes a valid point—Books are the Best Weapons—Internet resources are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to doing research. Books are an indispensable tool for the average researcher.

2. Life is a Pile of Good Things and Bad Things
“The way I see it, every life is a pile of good things and bad things. The good things don’t always soften the bad things, but vice versa, the bad things don’t always spoil the good things and make them unimportant.” (S 5, Ep 10)

Matt Smith said these beautiful words to Amy when she was grieving Vincent Van Gogh’s suicide. Although Van Gogh died in 1890, the pain was fresh to Amy after spending a day with the artist in attempts to vanquish the Krafayis. Like with genealogy, any time spent learning about an ancestor’s life is time not wasted. Any fact learned should be accepted as a part of that individual, good or bad. What matters is remembering your ancestor is human with a lifetime of good and bad things. Their existence and legacy is a part of you.

3. It's not Time but the Person
“Some people live more in 20 years than others do in 80. It’s not the time that matters, it’s the person.” (S 3, Ep 6)

This is another principle that hits home for doing genealogy. All people who lived made their
mark on history, big or small—my grandfather who died at 40 is not less important than my grandfather who turned 90 this week. Both have lived their lives and contributed to the fabric of our family.

4. I've Never Met Anyone Not Important
“In 900 years of time and space, I’ve never met anyone who wasn’t important.” (S 6, Christmas Special)

The Doctor said this one best—no individual, big or small, young or old, rich or poor, should be looked over. Everybody deserves to have their story told.

5. Everybody Lives!"
“Everybody lives, Rose. Just this once…Everybody lives!” (S 1, Ep 10)
A truly heartwarming moment--the cure for the gasmask people was in the nanogenes! The Doctor's love for life and its beauty is conveyed in his ecstatic proclamation: "Everybody Lives!" Who cannot cry with the Doctor over the joy of all who were thought to be lost regaining life? When doing family history, this is how I feel about "meeting" my ancestors; they come alive as I learn their stories.  

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