Lineage

Standpoint theory. Typically this concept is used in the context of describing how the rich perceive the world much differently from the poor. Depending on one’s social standing, the world is going to be viewed quite disparately, hence our “stands” will be quite unique pending the point where we find ourselves socially situated.

Perhaps it is because of my belief in this theory that I am reluctant to criticize anyone whose social standing is different from my own. There are just certain things I will never know what it is like to be: a millennial, a woman, a person of color, gay, super wealthy, super poor, socially powerful, socially powerless, etc…However, I CAN tell you what it is like to be a white, middle class, 57 year-old grandpa.

Yes, grandpa.

All this standpoint theory discussion was just roundabout foreplay to say this blogger now has a new standing and reference point in which to view life. And the weird aspect about standpoint theory seems to support my “you-can-never-truly-see-the-world-through-someone-else’s-eyes” belief. Like when trying to retell an amusing story and it is coming out boring as hell, and you utter, “I guess you just had to be there.”

I am learning that in life to truly understand something you really “just have to be there.” Sure I could imagine what it was like to be grandfather, yet that is an entirely different experience than actually being one. Of course my only experience as a grandfather is via Facetime, Whatsapp, and Telegram as my little angel resides 6000 miles away in southern Argentina…and with the world as it is at the moment, I have no clue when I will ever hold that little guy in my arms.

I do know that being a digital e-grandfather, at the moment, is a FAR different experience than that of becoming a analogue father, some 32 years ago. I realize that becoming a dad for the first time is for the young, strong and uninitiated. No one has any idea what they are getting into for the rest of their lives. But this new grandfather perspective brings with it a concept that keeps resonating in my head.

Lineage.

Becoming a father means you have created a new life that you must raise to live in the world.

Becoming a grandfather means you have initiated a new line of human beings to live in the world.

To use an analogy, it is no longer building a single car in your garage, or two, or three, it is the grand opening of an automotive plant. An automotive plant with an assembly line that will keep churning out product long after we are expire.

Or at least that is how it feels.

It offers you an entirely different relationship with the world. We are now true “grandfathered” investors in the planet, while it is now not only the notion of lineage that feels so different, it is also its close cousin, legacy.

As I enter my older years in a very uncertain world (btw it has always been uncertain, today it is just a different type of uncertain) I care far more about what I will leave the planet because I realize there is nothing much more for me to take. Unlike the famous of yore who have statues or monuments built in their honor, I am happy with my simple, 7lb. 6oz. legacy.

Now I gaze into the eyes of Achilles Fitcarraldo Urbanovich and not only see an adorable angel, I see my monument. His little soft cries and cooing suffice to be my statues. No monument or statue in the world could mean more to me.

And I am fine that these signs of legacy be left in the hands of the young, strong and soon-to-be initiated. It is their turn now. When time once again allows it, I will gladly love on my little legacy, and be happy to leave before the diaper needs to be changed.

C’mon people. I’ve earned it.

And from where I stand, I will never see the world the same way.

 

jimmysintension

2 Comments

  1. Congratulations to the new Grandpa! Very Proud Grandpa! Nice blog and nice pic of your son with his little bundle of Joy!. Hope this corona virus will be over soon so, you can go to south argentina to see your little grandson🙏. Btw! I like your grandson name! . Be safe and stay healthy 🙏

  2. Hello Professor,

    I enjoyed reading your blog about lineage. I especially thought that the information about the Standpoint Theory was interesting too. I do agree that there are some social standings in the world that we can never truly understand, like how I will never know what it’s like to be straight, full White/Latino, or super poor/wealthy. I think that empathy does play a role in helping understand people’s social standings, but I still agree that it will never be 100% due to the whole notion of “just had to be there” kind of attitude. I also found an article from the website ScienceDirect.com that helps explain more about the Standpoint Theory. However, its view on social standing is focused more on people who obtain privileged perspectives on social relations. It also clarifies that the Standpoint Theory has some “domains of applicability” in the natural sciences since social standing does not completely relate to the Natural Sciences. Moreover, it continues to explain how social standings are issues within disciplines like an after-effect of consequence. I also thought that it was interesting how you had stated you gained a “new standing and reference point in which to view life.” I think that it is important to recognize that life changes with us and we further can gain new social standings. However, I think that there are some things that cannot be changed, like Race, sexuality, ethnicity, etc., but I think that there are still roles or different experiences in life that can change a social standing that is not correlated to these kinds of things. I also liked how you brought up imagination versus actual experience because I agree that a person could think about what it feels like to be a parent, grandparent, rich/poor person, etc. but never truly know until they experience it. I have also noticed that there is a common theme of experience when it comes to the Standpoint Theory. I also recognize that it seems much more complex than simply what category you fall under because it seems to be intersectional, as in Race, Ethnicity, sexuality, social role, etc. all intersecting and correlating with one another. Anyway, I also think that the idea of lineage is interesting because it is something I think about like if I want kids or not. Congratulations on being a grandfather again! I hope you get to see your grandchild soon! I really enjoyed reading this blog post.

    Best,
    Joshua Alban
    (COMMST 125)

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