Why Kith & Kin?
What's In A Name?
When I began my consulting company, I wanted it to have a name that really meant something to me. I thought of different lessons I had learned through my life and the people from whom those lessons were learned. Many of those memories went back to one person - my Nanny.
My Nanny (aka, Mother, Thelma Ellen Pake Simpson, Aunt Sissy, and many other names) lived in eastern Carteret County, North Carolina her entire life. It was in that community that she attended school; married Monroe Gordon Simpson; raised her children at "Black Cat"; loved her grandchildren and great-grandchildren with all her heart; taught history lessons to those that would listen; told the stories of her childhood; made light rolls and cream every Sunday for the entire family and anyone else that wanted to join; dove off the family houseboat every Independence Day weekend; and wrote poetry and a book called "Kith and Kin of Eastern Carteret County" that recorded the family history of the families native to the communities east of Beaufort, North Carolina.
I was a lover of all things "Nanny". I was enchanted by her storytelling. I never fully understood or appreciated that every story had a lesson - until I reminisced on those stories as I have gotten older and she has been gone from my physical presence even longer. While she isn't physically here, she shows me something new almost daily.
The words "kith" and "kin" don't just mean your friends and family. Nanny would often remind me of the book "The Education of Little Tree" by Forrest Carter. Your “kin” isn’t just your family. Your "kith" and "kin" are the people about whom you care and with whom you have an understanding. We all want and need to be understood and being understood leads us to feel as though someone cares for us. When we feel we are cared for, we can feel confident that we will be understood and valued.
To be successful as a business owner, you must understand your team members and you have to care for those people. No matter what else comes up in business, the key to the success will always lead back to the people...
So, that's what is in a name...
Kith /kiTH/ :
1) acquaintances friends, neighbors, or the like; persons living in the same general locality and forming a more or less cohesive group;
3) a group of people living in the same area and forming a culture with a common language, customs, economy, etc., usually endogamous
Kin /kin/ :
1) a person's relatives collectively; kinfolk;
2) family relationship or kinship;
3) a group of persons descended from a common ancestor or constituting a people, clan, tribe, or family;
4) a relative or kinsman
5) someone or something of the same or similar kind
6) of the same family; akin
7) of the same kind or nature; having affinity
Excerpt from “The Education of Little Tree” (Forrest Carter)
"...Gramma's name was Bonnie Bee. I knew that when I heard him (Granpa) late at night say, “I kin ye, Bonnie Bee,"he was saying, "I love ye," for the feeling was in the words.
And when they would be talking and Gramma would say, ''Do you kin me, Wales?" and he would answer, "I kin ye," it meant, "I understand ye." To them, love and understanding was the same thing. Gramma said you couldn't love something you didn't understand; nor could you love people, or God, if you didn't understand the people and God.
Granpa and Gramma had an understanding, and so they had a love. Gramma said the understanding run deeper as the years went by, and she reckoned it would get beyond anything mortal folks could thing upon or explain. And so they called it ''kin.''
Granpa said back before his time ''kinfolks'' meant any folks that you understood and had an understanding with, so it meant “loved folks." But people got selfish, and brought it down to mean just blood relatives; but that actually it was never meant to mean just that..."