[Ansteorra] Question 12/12
mtucker at airmail.net
Thu Dec 12 07:50:10 PST 2002
On Wednesday, December 11, 2002, at 09:36 PM, L T wrote:
> I think that most of the populace is pretty well agreed that a Peerage
> is not just an "award" but is also a job...
> What is your description of the jobs of each of the Peerages?
> (Chivalry, Laurel, Pelican)
As usual, you ask a good question. I've stayed out of these discussions
so far, but I'll try my hand at answering this one.
I think that Peers have three real jobs, in the best of all possible
worlds: to be, to lead, and to measure. I'll explain what I mean.
<standard disclaimer> As you read the following, please bear in mind
that I am speaking of ideal situations. Obviously, we're all human with
different qualities and issues to deal with. Also please bear in mind
that this is just my opinion, and does not mean to imply that I think
this is the only "right" answer. </disclaimer>
To be: each Peer embodies what it is to be their Peerage. If a newcomer
comes up to you and asks "What is a knight?", you should be able to
point to someone in a white belt and say, with confidence: "THAT is a
knight. All that a knight should be, there stands. If you want to know
what a knight is, and what they do, go introduce yourself to that
person, and follow them around for a while." That's a hard job, and
most of us fall short of it from time to time, if not most of the time.
The ones who are best at it tend to be call "Lions" as well as "Peers".
To lead: in each activity of the SCA, no matter how many willing
followers there are, someone has to lead. Someone has to teach how it's
done, either through formal instruction or simply by example. Someone
has to encourage the rest - the followers - to join in the fun, and
enrich their own lives and the Society by so doing. That someone is -
or ought to be, in the best of all possible worlds - the Peers. In
theory, they are the Captains of their area of activity. They may lead
by example, or they may take students (squires, apprentices, proteges);
but either way, they lead. They show the rest of us where their path
lies, so that we may follow in their footsteps if we so desire.
To measure: each Peer is a member of a polling order (Order of the
Chivalry, Order of the Laurel, Order of the Pelican). From time to
time, the members of each order are invited to sit in state with the
Crown and discuss the merits of candidates for admission to their
Order. Each Peer must consider each candidate, weigh them in the
balance according to their own set of measures, and advise the Crown
"yay" or "nay" whether the candidate should be admitted to their Order,
and so elevated to Peerage. This is perhaps the hardest job of all that
a Peer has to do. How can any of us judge, when we have looked within
ourselves and found imperfection? But, judge we must. Someone has to do
it; and as in leading, that job falls to the Peers. Happily (for the
Peers), the final decision rests with the Crown, so each Peer should
feel free to speak their heart, without concern about feeling guilt or
regret for the outcome of the polling. If there is any guilt or regret
to be born, it is born by the Crown. Our burden is heavy, but theirs is
Michael Silverhands, OP
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