Greeting to our Cousins;
There have been so many interesting discussions to follow recently and I so admire the many intelligent contributors that share of their thoughts and values. You have all inspired me to add a couple of my own "two cents worth" to the discussion and share such wisdom as I possess. In doing so I desire to transcend politics, and other daily issues, and rather build upon the following posted comments by those great contributors Rob and Niven which add so much value. We can bear reading them again with pleasure..
"Like any cultural group, whether defined by geography, blood ties, or community of interest, it would not be productive to categorize the components of any group of humans as being any one thing...there is much to be said for individual responsibility and development.....". words of wisdom from: Rob Cohen
"...as human beings, we have a choice for good or for evil. Nevertheless, "that which is born in the bone can never be driven out of the blood". Our genes make us what we are. The nature/nurture argument has always been with but I know, at a level far beneath the foundations of reasons and experience, that we Sinclairs have always had a special role to play in the affairs of our fellow men. Many have performed this role - others, for fear of failure, have opted out because they haven't realised (and, therefore, haven't released) the true talents which lie within them." ... words of wisdom from Niven Sinclair
Many individuals are seeking their roots and identities in clan and genealogical links and this exploration I see as being a positive and creative development, providing that the distinuishing factors of "sports philosophy" at all times are omitted in a purely competitive sense. Now naturally I do except highland games Rory! I would wish that everyone should feel as good as my entire family did last summer. It is a special moment seeing ones sons and daughter, nephew and nieces proudly walking in for the salute to the clans holding Sinclair flags and banners high! Fun highland competition is fair game!
But in our collective endeavours on this list I agree with many of you that we have distinguished some strong values, and developed some ideas of merit. I see much good energy emerging over the past year which does considerable credit to the name "Sinclair" and this global Sinclair community on line. One is a respect for individuals that goes beyond the family name and heritage alone but at the same time arises out of the our common heritage, at least in part.
There is an honest pride in sharing common heritage. (having all jointly discovered and sharing one) and In our focusing on the good and positive aspects of this culture, I have been taught by many here a lot of proud facts. I admire Laurel's dedication and approach to our unique history. I admire the Scottish roots, while recognizing in myself other roots as well.
Then there are values I have been invited to learn such as Niven's "blood and bone" analogies. Yes factually many of us are related directly but all are related in a sense of appreciating a greater spirit. But just as importantly, we do have a common culture and shared history. Having stated the obvious, let me also recognize that we are different individuals all at the same time carrying forward our understandings, on our separate journeys through life. We must salute the aspects we share and respect the differences we exhibit.
Another valid way of looking at this complex individual and collective spectrum, is to appreciate that we have a recognition that we as individuals are all brothers and sisters of everyone else living of all backgrounds, in our world community. We often reference this community as "mankind"
At the same time, and in the same breath, we individuals come with a distinct cultural heritage, genetic constitution and. if not always blood ties, at least cultural and historical ones. I heard this explained once (perhaps through your gift of language Rob) as "family voices having our own song to sing and tune to play which adds to the richness of the tunes of the whole world."
On the eve of meeting the Earl of Caithness this weekend (for the first time) I wanted to share some of the thoughts accumulated over the past year from the "Argyll" segment of friends and cousins. Yes within the clan there is uniqueness and differences but commonality as well.
You may recall that the Argyll Sinclair heritage is distinct. (A quick and excellent summary was posted by Karen Matheson on the Sinclair web site) Most Argyll Sinclairs are not related by blood ties to the Sinclair Norse of Orkneys or the Sinclairs of Thurso or Rosslyn. While an undefined and unknowable number of Sinclairs in Argyll may have Caithness blood ties, one might assert that a significant majority have long standing ties to the region and the land that go back some 800 years. It is arguable with some logical authority behind it, that these " McNokaird aka Sinclairs" had no known ties and allegiences to the Lords and Lairds of Caithness and or Rosslyn per se, but ties of some sort were there, even if only through shared values and identification to higher causes.
Somewhere the motivations came to carry the Sinclair name (after 1700) with the same pride as their brothen in Northern Scotland. And how well was the pride manifest!
These Sinclairs worked hard for a living, they worked to marry others in the region, and then to raise decent families. We have good evidence that they strove for education and made a contribution to those around. Values that persisted over 400 years. And we can see that over the generations they strived to "get ahead" in the world and make the world a better place for their children. NS
What a positive story. When Juli rolls among the heather on the hillsides of Argyll, she "feels the heritage" even though these roots for many of us lie far behind. It is so valuable that this linkage to land, history and the past can remain close and be revived with freshness to those living. Sharing between people for a land. Our journey of joint discovery we can share with Macolm in a positive fashion.
And from Rebecca's Argyll Colony, to Toni's Islay croft, generations followed with their own stories to tell, passing on the names, language and culture of their ancestors.
If I may attempt to summarize an Argyll "Sinclair" perspective some of what we discovered is expressed as follows,
1. There is a belief in inter relatedness of Argyll Sinc's that goes beyond what level of cousin are you. It ties to having common roots and understandings and experiences.
2. Our Argyll ancestors were good hard working individuals that left a positive legacy in North Carolina, and Prince Edward Island but also Australia, and other places in North America and the world. We may have had a sheep rustler in the group of ancestors but I doubt it. I have never found or heard of one Sinclair character from Argyll that we would not invite home to dinner.
3. Our work has been spiritual in kind, because as Karen Matheson so rightly has shared, we are, as individuals and part of a family, in Gods world, all connected with our ancestors. And they should be honoured and respected. For we are in part, a part of all they were. Their value to us is to be respected and honoured.
4. The Sinclair name is one we take pride in, but we also share our heritage with cousins that have the same blood and or marital ties and yet may not currently carry the Sinclair name. And this includes MacIntyres, Kalwa's, Wallgrens to name a few.
In conclusion; we look forward to meeting many "Sinclairs" this weekend, and saluting the Earl as our international cultural leader and historical focus. We seek to learn of their experience and wisdom. It matters not whether they come from Orkney, or Loch Fyne, New York or Ontario, we come to share what and who we are.
Even more now than ever we are appreciative of the forces and ties which unite and connect ourselves, one to another.
We share the heritage and the journey of discovery with pride. We remain secure in the knowledge that decent values endure. We focus on values of family, decency, caring and above all love. These values, we hope and trust are common to Sinclairs, but we recognize they are also the common aspirations of all mankind. This is a fine spiritual core upon which to build successive family generations.
Yes with respect and Yes in honour.
Commit Thy Work to God