That heritage can be as personal as your name or as global as the state of the planet. Despite studying environmental biology I have no intention (or desire) to begin some kind of Dick Smith style controversial debate. So I'll step it back... to the state of me.
I'm fair skinned, with green eyes and brown hair. My eyebrows for some reason are a few shades darker than my hair, (my natural hair mind you) and I am absurdly tall.
Thank you mum and dad.
I am sure that there are things that you can find about yourself that you can identify as originating from one or another of your ancestors. My niece Lola can point the finger at her great grandfather for her "luscious ginger mane" for example. In my opinion this is one of the best parts of family history. Seeing somewhat literally where the bits of us come from.
We have no control over our genetics though (if we did I wouldn't have frizzy hair) but something that we can blame on our parents is our name.
|Eleanor the first|
My name is Eleanor.
Not coincidentally, my Oma's name is also Eleanor.
I was named after her and as a girl she would introduce me to friends as her namesake. It wasn't just my name, it was also hers, carrying with it the legacy that she had built of righteousness, caring and love.
While at times I thought that my name was old fashioned and unsuitable, I have come to appreciate the great gift that it is. (Not just because it's popular now)
While not all readers of this will be believers in the Book of Mormon, I think that this verse, taken from the book of Helaman 5:6 expresses the sentiment perfectly.
"...Behold I have given unto you the names of our first parents
who came out of the land of Jerusalem; and this I have done that when
you remember your names ye may remember them; and when ye remember
them ye may remember their works; and when ye remember their
works ye may know how that is it said, and also written
that they were good..."
And why would Helaman want his sons to remember the good works of their ancestors? So that they would emulate their goodness.
When our son was born Kyle and I hadn't put a great deal of thought into what we could call him. We knew more or less what we wouldn't call him as most of our conversations went something like this:
"What about ______?"
"Oh no, I went to school with a _______ and he was a total _________" (... you can fill in the blanks.)
If remembering a righteous ancestor helps a child become righteous, surely naming someone after a _____ may risk them becoming a ________. Or something like that? I wasn't going to risk it.
In the end we decided on Gabriel. In Hebrew it means 'Strong or mighty man of God' (or a variation of this) and it certainly describes some of the hopes I have for my baby. One of my dads mum's names is Donation, which asides from being a highly uncommon name, brings into my mind words like charity, kindness, and giving, which were all things that she embodied.
The name came first though so maybe my next baby will be called Placid... or Petite!
Names are pretty important! Bastian saved Fantasia by giving the child-like Empress a name though I certainly wouldn't have gone with Moonchild, but thats beside the point. (Kudos to you if you knew the reference before I mentioned it)
Were you named after anyone? How did you come up with your children's names?