The History of Leith

August 10, 2007

It’s a mongrel tradition

“Scotland was born poor. There are two main ways to react to poverty. One is to fall in love with money since that is what you do not have. The other is to generate values beyond the economic, since otherwise you acknowledge your own
inferiority. No matter how much money Andrew Carnegie made, he couldn’t forget that he came from a place where a person wouldn’t be measured by the weight of the wallet but by the quality of the humanity. When Burns wrote A Man’s A Man,
he was doing more than creating a song. He was locating and preserving the DNA of Scottishness – a belief in equality beyond any limitation of class, status or wealth. It was appropriate that it was sung at the opening of our parliament.

The essential Scottishness, of course, is not a matter of purity of blood. It is an amalgam of all people who have come to live here. European, Asian, South American, whatever. Scottishness is not a pedigree lineage, it’s a mongrel tradition.”


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