Tag Archives: Identity

The Ancestor Effect!

family tree graphicThinking about your ancestors makes you smarter!
Recent research at the University of Graz has identified an “ancestor effect.” Individuals who think about their ancestors just prior to a job interview or college exam boost their chances of success. Dr. Peter Fischer hypothesizes that “thinking about one’s origins . . . provides people with a positive psychological resource.” In other words, reminding the brain of the difficulties your ancestors overcame, you are able to approach a task with a stronger sense of identity and self-esteem—an edge that can make a measurable difference, which is probably why families continue to tell stories that emphasize how hard it used to be, how lucky we are now, blah, blah, blah, etc, etc, etc.
Is there a family that doesn’t tell their stories that way?


Filed under Definition, Family history, Family Stories, Old Storytelling Traditions, Why Stories?

Disappear? Shed Your Identity? Start Over As Someone Else?

cover photo for wired magazine articleWho hasn’t thought about it?

Yes, but how hard is it for someone to disappear in the digital age? Author Evan Ratliff goes on the lam for WIRED Magazine with that question in mind. The article “Gone” reads like a techno-thriller,but ends with a poignant twist that touches the heart of story, and why we need one.

Turns out the biggest hazard is loneliness.

Logo of Wired MagazineHe writes:

Had I shown that a person, given enough resources and discipline, could vanish from one life and reinvent himself in another? . . . More than all that, I’d discovered how quickly the vision of total reinvention can dissolve into its lonely mundane reality. Whatever reason you might have for discarding your old self and the people who went with it, you’ll need more than a made-up backstory and a belt full of cash to replace them.

cover photo for wired magazine articleThe story of what happens when you don’t have a story is worth reading.

Leave a comment

Filed under Personal Narrative, Story Quote, Why Stories?