Recognizing Skill and Good Works

harry billings psobaka at
Tue Oct 22 19:03:34 PDT 1996

>Aodhan replied to Lyonel:
>> dgg> True, we don't recognize
>> dgg> individual areas within the arts and sciences,
>>Actually, we do.  The Award of the Sable Thistle is given for skill in a
>>specific art or craft and the field in designated on the scroll and in the
>>of precedence. A person can receive multiple Thistles, each for a separate
>>field.  The Thistle carries an Award of Arms, if the recipient does not
>>have such.  We just don't have a separate award for each field.
>Actually, you don't--not by award title, per se.  As you say, the specific
>art or craft is designated *on the scroll* rather than by the award.  Saying
>that Lord or Lady Whosit has a Sable Thistle lends no clue as to where their
>area of skill lies, unlike some other awards.  I personally hold no opinion
>at this time as to whether archery or anything else could be appropriately
>recognized through this particular venue and not another, but you see where
>the potential area of concern might be in this matter.
>>Frankly, I wish we could do away with our peerages - the only one with any
>>medieval precedent is Knighthood and we have it on the wrong end of the
>>spectrum.  And the Grant level is a complete fabrication.
>>It was rare in the Middle Ages for one to receive recognition (by way of
>>or land) from the Crown; it was *extremely* rare to recieve such recognition
>>more than once in a lifetime.  Yet, we have a system in which people actually
>>expect to get such recognition several times over the course of a few years.
>>>From the records of the last few reigns during which I served as Zodiacus
>>Herald, the Crowns of Ansteorra have been giving out, on average, over 500
>>armigerous awards per year.  That's about 10% of the Kingdom being called up
>>and formally recognized in Court.  Did 10% of England or France ever see their
>>King in person, much less receive recognition in His Court?
>>We have too many awards and they are given out too freely.  What we have
>>resembles, more than anything, the Boy Scout merit badge system. Is it really
>>necessary to have awards and titles in order to recognize those who have done
>>well?  Is not public acclaim from the Crown enough?
>>Baron Aodhan Ite an Fhithich, ML
>>Dobharchu Herald
>I really must question His Excellency's attitude about awards.  They are
>given out too freely?  Just this weekend a lady shared with me that for the
>first three years she played, she was expected to serve constantly at
>events, and when she was finally brought up for a recognition--after three
>years of steady service--the awarding coronet  commented he thought perhaps
>the award was a bit hasty.  The lady telling me these things had tears well
>in her eyes at the suggestion that her efforts of several years were
>apparently considered incidental. Is this the kind of thing you champion?  I
>would hope not.  Every single thing the vast majority of us do is
>voluntary--*without any guarantee of return*--be it fiscal, verbal, visual,
>or what have you.  We live and breath mundanely in an extremely
>materialistic society where, if you don't have something to show for your
>efforts, then you must not have made any efforts, and are therefore a
>failure. One of my greatest joys as Baroness of 1000 Eyes was the privilege
>of recognizing people's efforts.  In a Society where almost everything we do
>and experience is through the volunteered services and activities of all
>individuals involved, to suggest stinginess with recognitions seems
>extremely contrary to the spirit required to make this the grand game that
>it is and should be.  
>If you are complaining that the recognition of others makes your job a
>little harder, then shame on you.  I do concur that there are times when
>awards are given freely enough to cause "recognition inflation" and call the
>worth of those awards into question--there is no doubt that the
>responsibility of giving awards and recognitions requires the thought and
>consideration of a good balancing act.  On the other hand, if only 10% of
>the populace is being recognized, what of the other 90%?  You almost seem to
>be suggesting that you feel that *more* than 90% of the populace do nothing
>meriting regard for the most part.  That kind of attitude can't possibly do
>much along the lines of encouraging more committed involvement.  
>I also might point out that many may think, "well, that's easy for him to
>say, he's already got a brass hat."  When those of us who have achieved well
>in the Society start making noises that suggest stinginess or jealously of
>recognition of others, it's not pretty, and it's not noble. If you frankly
>disagree with and/or loath rank and title, then put your money where your
>mouth is and shelve the coronet and title.  Yes, you're quite right that in
>period, recognition from the crown was a rare thing, but so was monthly
>travel between shires and baronies and principalities and kingdoms for the
>sole purpose of getting together for a day with friends, and tournements and
>wars with 100% survival rate and many other aspects of our Society.  Ergo
>the "C" in "SCA" that helps to make the "S" part possible.
>Aquilanne, OL, OP, Baroness, Bannthane
Well said my lady.
Plachoya Sobaka a most insignificant archer in Ravens Fort 

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