[DFT] Re: [Elfsea] Questions that need to be asked...

Armand Dragonetti dragonetti at generich.com
Thu Jul 10 23:41:31 PDT 2003

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "willow Taylor" <willowjonbardc at juno.com>
To: <timothy at elfsea.net>; <elfsea at ansteorra.org>
Sent: Tuesday, July 08, 2003 9:28 PM
Subject: Re: [Elfsea] Questions that need to be asked...

> Dear Potential Barone/ess
> How would deal with these problems? I think these are more serious than
> the Cantons. Most of the people I talked to were from Steppes and Elfsea
> area.
> In the last year I have been approached by many members of the
> population. As nobles we are a valid pathway for complaints. It started
> with artisans . Not your top 10%, going to be a Laurel someday, but your
> everyday artisan. They were complaining that nobody was doing anything
> for them any more. They said that in the past the kingdom helped everyone
> learn and get better and people were given reinforcement for their
> accomplishments. In the past years this had changed and now only the best
> artisan were given any attention. They complained that all the artistic
> attention was being given to high power competitions.

Paraphrasing: Beginning & intermediate artisans (some of them) are feeling

> I then started giving reports that the autocrats in my local area were
> have problems getting workers. I went to the people I knew used to be
> worker and traditionally recruited workers. They told me that they were
> not getting recognized, there were not many fun activity for them and
> there were a lot of stand offish people in the SCA who thought they were
> too good for these individuals. They said that a lot of the things they
> enjoyed were not fun any more. When they went to Art activities the
> really good artisans made them feel like second class citizen. There were
> no performers coming around performing for them. They also stated that
> the nobles and peers were no  longer walking around giving encouragement.
> They said that they had lost their sense of community. In a nut shell
> they were not happy and they were not going to work and they were going
> to advise people not to work.

Again paraphrasing: Service oriented folks feeling unappreciated and

> I also got a lot of reports that the values of courtesy and graciousness
> were dying out. The people said that people were being rude and snide.
> They claimed that people were walking around with their noses in the air.
> They flat out told me that I (as a noble) was not working hard enough to
> fix the problem. They blamed the knights and Laurels for not teaching
> their squires and apprentices. They blamed not having a mentor system.
> They stated that the older people were not being leaders.

Diminished courtesy & grace and poor leadership from the top.

> As leaders of a Barony how would you address these problems?
> Duchess Willow de Wisp

Your Grace,

All of these concerns have a similar ring. A perception that there is a
clique-ish culture that pits those who've "made it", for lack of a better
term, (Peer, Grant Holder, Titled Champion, <insert your own definition of
rank/achievement>, etc.) against those who haven't or are struggling for
whatever reason. And a general decline in respect shown to one another.

Surely most of us know of those in the first group who strive to
help/mentor/teach/support the second group, but I gather the concern is that
their number is declining. First, I'd want to determine the scope of the
problem, to see how widely this view is held. (Personally, I haven't heard
all of these things, but I may not have been in the best position to, though
I have observed rudeness more often than I'd expect, given the nature of our
organization.) Lacking a voice in most circles, we will be limited to
encouraging awareness. To lead by example. To make a conscientious effort to
recognize the efforts and contributions of everyone, not just the champion
or celebrity. We would solicit recommendations from those who have seen what
works and what doesn't. Perhaps sponsoring more activities for the explicit
purpose of supporting the beginner & intermediate artisan. Perhaps making
use of personal favors & largess to recognize & encourage promising efforts
among those just beginning or struggling (including recognizing efforts of
those helping, mentoring & teaching) in addition to the traditional
recognition of the day's champion.

We do not believe courtesy and graciousness can be mandated. We strive for
courtesy and graciousness regardless of our station, and our primary answer
to this will again be to lead by example and perhaps to call attention to
undesirable behavior when it is observed. Recently the kingdom list
addressed talking during court. We were present at the specific court that
started that thread, but unfortunately it is a common occurrence. HL Ameline
got out of her seat, walked over and politely requested that a pair of
gentles take their conversation farther away from the proceedings so that
she might hear the business of the court. The gentles made sincere apologies
and immediately walked further away to hold their conversation. This is
typical of my lady. She did not bemoan the problem on the list once we
returned, (not that we disagree with those that have), but rather she
acted...then...rather than choosing to sit and bear it and gripe afterwards.
This is typical of her approach. Armand tends to put up with things longer
and then solicit advice on how to address such issues after the fact. Much
like the thread on the list. I think my lady's approach is better and I will
strive to follow her example more often.

Lord Armand Dragonetti

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