further to Leila's idea (below)
There's a very strong, elemental-- and, I believe, thoroughly healthy-- human drive to preserve and pass along one's family heritage. It's not just a matter of the family name, or genetic materials, or pride; it's more than that.
Consider this thought-experiment:
Imagine that sometime well into the future-- perhaps 150 years from now-- there is a bright young man who accomplishes something great. He finds a cure for cancer, say; or establishes world peace.
You will never meet this man; he will be born after you die. But you already admire him, don't you?
Now how does it change your attitude toward him when I add this fact:
He's your great-great-grandson.
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