How long could you last?
In fact, the answer depends on exactly who sat on your knees.
In all the groups studied, “people held the position longer and so endured more pain the closer they were to the beneficiary.” In other words, if the person who sat on your knees was a stranger your ability to squat would be poor in comparison to squatting with a relative on your knees. Researchers found that “people will do more for their loved ones irrespective of whether they like them or not and the closer you’re related to someone, the more pain you will go through for that genetic connection.” I guess we’re just programmed this way.
The conclusion? Family matters. Immediate and extended. Enjoyable and not-so-enjoyable. And especially biological. Our genes matter in ways we probably do not always recognize or even understand. (Sort of explains why you keep inviting that drunk uncle to Thanksgiving, doesn’t it?)
I enjoy writer Erma Bombeck’s description of her family: “a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another’s desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together.” (My family is not much different. Maybe add gas.)
However one defines family and despite family dynamics, those researchers have proved something else too: families endure pain for each other.
Is there someone in your family who needs your knees?