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A recent posting to this list contained the following observation :
"There seems to be a lot of thin-skinned members of the Clan Sinclair, Inc.
on this list, especially when it come to the deeds or misdeeds of Sinclair
nobility. I hope you have found things different in the actual association."
I feel motivated to expand on the thought behind this statement and several
others that have appeared in the past week or so .
In our quest for knowledge , some of us seem to lose sight of the difference
between what is history and open to candid discussion e.g. Rollo rustled
cattle ; Robin Hood was a highwayman while a templar and associated therefore
with the Sinclairs ; Rob Roy also rustled cattle ; the Rosslyn Sinclairs were
indebted to and fraternized with the gypsies ; and the Scots , the Picts and
Vikings were savage beyond belief , as measured by modern standards !!
Who today can relate to a system so stern as in the example of a Scottish
chief who threatened to disown his oldest son for being so weak that he dared
to use a rock for a pillow while sleeping in the heather between battles .
As we also see today , one is called a patriot or a terrorist depending on
which side is writing the commentary .
I should also note that most Scots under the clan system did not divide into
nobility versus commoner but rather as large families, with the chiefs as
first among equals .
On the other hand , an old , but still applicable , definition of a Lady or a
Gentleman was that "they were one who NEVER by word or deed caused injury to
In our pursuit of our history (geneology ) , it seems that some of our list
members have not discerned the significant differences between a calm , candid
discussion of those long dead and their deeds(or misdeeds ) and the extreme
standards of discretion and care necessary when discussing those still living
or the families of those recently deceased .That standard is the one expressed
in the preceding paragraph .
When these standards are overlooked , the resulting dissension and discussion
is a normal result and to be expected , althought certainly not desirable .
I might also add , that curiosity is not an excuse -- our host for the list
termed it as " tacky " if my memory is correct .
I personally hope that our future discussions on the list are " lively " but
not "acrimonious" , as in several recent discussions , Perhaps if we remember
the concept of a clan as an extended family it will all fall into place if
anyone is unsure of how ( or if ) to proceed .
Kindest regards to all,