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  • PHILBAER
    In my opinion, we all have common goals in genealogy - to find out about our own families and along the way help others learn about theirs. It amazes me how
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 12, 2008
      In my opinion, we all have common goals in genealogy - to find out about our own families and along the way help others learn about theirs. It amazes me how quickly the ultimate purpose is subjugated by strong opinions and contests of who knows best. Slovak Roots has been a tremendous support network for me (and I hear the same from others). In genealogy we deal with different cultures and ethnicity and there are always occasions when someone can turn these into negatives. I personally try to study differences to better understand people and appreciate views of the world that all help me to learn. I said in an earlier email that too many people (in my humble opinion) don't look beyond the first level of an experience and seek the "why" behind it and what can be learned. With the world being full of differences, especially cultures, we can always exploit those differences if we want to. I choose not to. I guess I'm trying to make the case that Americans are Americans (I know; I am one), but Americans are a nationality of many cultures. What we may see in Americans is not cultural; it is more a case of learned habits on top of culture. Germans are Germans (my family); Slovaks are Slovaks (my family); etc. I am living in Tirol - and everyone, even the natives say, "Oh, he/she is just being Tirolean." The Austrians also say, "After all, he/she is German." And, Lord, what about those Italians! I'm sure all of you can quote similar sayings about cultural differences. What I am leading up to is that Americans (from the USA) are different - both in good ways and bad ways. We are very ethnocentric (trained that way) and tend to see the world only through "American filters." I have to admit that Americans generally have an "attitude" that not only embarrasses me, but serves to incite non-Americans. My comment to fellow Americans is this, "Put the pistols back in your holsters. You are fighting with people who are trying to help you, and yes, you need the help."

      Philip Baer


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