Some people are curious by nature. They want to know everything about themselves and the world around them. They're interested not just in their own lives but in the lives of their ancient ancestors. I’m not one of those people.

It’s not that I’m not curious. However, I tend to reserve my curiosity for things that actually affect me in the present. Who my ancestors were and where they come from never really mattered to me. Therefore, I didn’t think that ancestry DNA tests would be of any use to me.

Then I came across more information online about what these tests can actually offer. I read DNA testing kit reviews to see if they were worth their salt. And it turned out there were many reasons to get an ancestry DNA test, even if I wasn’t particularly curious.

These are the 3 most legitimate reasons to try an ancestry DNA test.

The health info

First and foremost, the most practical and legitimate reason to do one of these tests is for the health information it provides. No, it’s not going to diagnose you with an illness or condition. However, it will tell you what conditions you are genetically predisposed towards.

It’s well-known that your genetic makeup contributes to your susceptibility to certain conditions. If your father and grandfather both contracted pancreatic cancer, for example, it may well run in your genes.

A DNA test can give you this all-important information. Illnesses are statistically less likely to cause lasting damage if they are diagnosed early on. Knowing which illnesses to check for can literally save your life.

The family tree

Another useful nugget that comes from DNA testing kits is the connection to your family tree. Most tests provide the option to put you in contact with relatives who have also used the service. You can meet cousins you never knew you had, and find out more information about shared relatives such as grandparents or great-grandparents.

For people like me, who did not grow up with a close extended family, this can be quite exhilarating. For others, it can be yet another source of information about any conditions that may run in the family.

The present

But DNA testing provided more than just practical information. I thought that I wasn’t interested in my ancestors, but once I had the results, I realized that the information wasn’t just about them. It has helped shape who I am.

It is so much more clear to me now how connected we all are. I am not just the narrow idea I had of myself and my heritage. On the contrary, I have roots far away from the Eastern European region my great-grandparents left.

In an increasingly divided world, this insight is incredibly important. Even those of us who think we are without prejudice are unknowingly influenced by the way we think of others as “others”. The fact that we are more connected than we think can remind us that we’re all responsible for how we treat each other. Injustice in another part of the world isn’t “someone else’s problem”.

DNA testing helped reignite my sense of social responsibility, which is the most legitimate reason possible for getting it done.