7 Things Southern Girls Must Do: Learn Your Family History

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This series will cover seven essentials all Southern girls must do to earn their keep. While we don’t much care for rules, we do believe there are certain things one simply must accomplish in order to call oneself a true Southern girl. This is just one.

Southern girls must know where and who they came from.

As stated time and time again, being Southern and living in the South is a special thing. A privilege, almost. It’s considered a privilege in part, because of its uniqueness and its ability to hold onto and the honor the past in ways that no other part of the country can or does. At times, this has gotten us into trouble, but mostly it binds us all together under the umbrella of, “Southern by the grace of God.”

Being Southern is almost a character trait. It is something that we’re all reared with. We just know we’re Southern. And typically, in the South, learning your family history is up there with learning the Ten Commandments, the SEC fight song of your choosing and one great fried chicken recipe. A recipe that likely came from your grandmother’s grandmother. And why is this? Because knowing your roots and where you came from is as important as knowing left from right.

We all want to be a part of the bigger picture and know how we fit into it and there’s nothing more sacred in the big picture of things than your family.

It’s imperative for you to know where your grandfather served overseas, who your dad’s favorite cousin was growing up and how your mom stole your dad’s heart. It’s also important to know if your grandmother was a raging lunatic or if your uncle has a heart condition. You must know all of these things to pass them on to the next generation and to explain yourself to your therapist someday. All kinds of studies show that knowing your family history (its legacy, as much as its failures and medical problems) leads to individuals having higher self-esteem and being more confident. Again, why is this? Because these are individuals that know where and who they came from.

Studies also show that families familiar with their own history have an easier time handling crisis. They tend to just stick together a little more naturally, even if one of them had an epic meltdown at last year’s Thanksgiving dinner.

Every Southern girl must know who and where she came from, because you can pick your friends and you can pick your nose, but you can’t pick your friend’s nose. And your family might be willing to pick it for you, if needed.