Awards and Coronets

Leslie Miller miller at
Fri Mar 24 16:03:35 PST 1995

> I do think it's bad depending on the award you desire to achieve.

I'd like you to elaborate on that.  Are you speaking of peerages, or 
something else?

> > They may have 
> > ego problems, and *I* would say that they may be missing an essential 
 > element of the dream, but let's face it, the system is set up to 
> > encourage it.
> The system is set up nicely in my opinion. 

Actually, I agree for the most part.  I'm not sure how else it would/could 
be done.  

> > Is it rong to aspire to be a peer?
> Yes. It is good to aspire to have the attributes of apeer. I am cutting
> a very thin line here and I hope I am making myself clear.

You are.

> I think the
> attributes that the peers are supposed to respresent are wonderful
> traits, and peple should strive towards those, not towards the title.
> Whether you get recognized for these attributes should be irrealevant.

OK, here's where I may disagree, depending on how you look at it. 
Hmmmm, how do I say this?  I think we agree that the ideal attributes 
of a peer are "good" and represent a worthy goal.  I agree with you 
that the ideals are what we *should* be after, not the title.  But 
let's get back to motivation.  Truth is, there are some people out there 
who will not be motivated towardsthe goal except for the thought of 
the recognition which follows.  I have watched worthy individuals 
give their hearts and souls to the SCA in pursuit of these 
attributes.  They "become" peers, but don't get the recognition.  And 
they suffer because of it.  Now, if *wanting* the title is automatic 
disqualification for the title, I can understand why this happens.  
You want to be a knight, not just "knightly", so obviously you're not 
worthy of being a knight.  Is this how it works?  Is this how it 
*sould* work?  (This is not a facetious question, either.  Sometimes 
it seems like the peer circles operate on this principle.)

However, if pursuit of the attributes is all that matters, then the 
Order of the Centurion of the Sable Star should never have been created. 
All it does is encourage people with another "cookie", to encourage them 
to keep fighting even though they may never be knighted.  If the 
*title* of knight is not to be coveted in the first place, why bother?
Is that why there is so much cntroversy surrounding the order?  I personally 
think we needed something like it... to motivate people to continue 

If you couldn't already tell, I'm very keen on keeping people happy and 
active, which is why I think it may be a bad idea to 
withhold recognition just because an individual desires it.  Is it 
beneficial to the Society to lose someone (to bitter disappointment 
and heartbreak) who does the work of a Pelican, just because the person 
wants to be recognised _as a Pelican_?  Seriosly?! 

> The ladder is not what you have to cross. 
The ladder is just a measuring
> stick of how fair you have achieved. That doesn'tmean you should aim for
> the next ring, but for the attributes that you hold in your heart. These
> may be the attributes of Chivalry, the beauty of Arts & Sciences, or
> even the pleasure of service.

Ideally, perhaps, but again, this won't motivate all people.  Climbing 
the ladder is a challenge for some, and when they get to the top, 
they want to shout and let the worl see what they have 
accomplished.  Different strokes for different folks and all that 
stuff.  Why slap them for shouting instead of holding it quietly 
in their hearts?  Unless holding it quietly in your heart is 
actually one of the aspects of being a peer, and if it is, then the 
circles keep it pretty quiet, (or perhaps I'm just not listening hard 
enough. "Ha!" says the peer... "You've got to look the part, 
sacrifice your pound of flesh, enter competitions so your work is 
*recognised*, travel, teach beat up on Dukes so people *recognise* you, 
serve as Kingdom Chronicler for seven years in a row..." and I'm 
just missing the part about "_BUT_, if you let anybody know that 
you actually want to be *recognised* for what you're doing, you're just 
wasting your time! Ha ha ha!" What a great catch-22, isn't it?!)

>I don't think that someone should
> be denyed something if they truly earned it, but I also think that the
> further up the "ladder" you go, it should be more evident that you have
> the correctdesires in your heart.

I agree with this wholeheartedly.  I just think we may disagree 
on the definition of "correct desires".  I don't think a 
desire for recognition is *necessarily* a bad thing, but that's 
probably just a result of a different personality style (as well as 
making *room* for different personality styles).  

I have more problems with people who *expect* to get an award, than 
with people who *desire* to receive one.  But that's another story.

Shire of Mooneschadowe
Stillwate, OK
miller at

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