ES - Courtesy & Other Things (rather long though)

Paul Mitchell pmitchel at
Fri May 29 06:36:29 PDT 1998

Galen here.

I think a knight needs to touch on this.

Michael Richardson wrote:

> Next subject (takes a deep breath), I realize this part will royally
> (no pun intended) tick some folks off...  But with regards to the
> chivary, they should be the ABSOLUTE first to think/offer help. I know
> that some do, I've seen it, and these are the ones I wish to emulate.
> But I was at the camp, next to a vigil for a new knight. When I was
> there, I didn't have a problem with noone coming over and ask to help.
> But I drove off to air up the mattress in the parking lot. (I didn't
> want that annoying whine of the pump to disturb the vigil.) I came
> back about 15 or 20 minutes later and there was Afan and my wife still
> setting up camp alone. A large group (6-8) of people were standing
> outside the vigil tent waiting for their turn to give advice to the
> new knight. Not a single one had come over to offer help to what to
> some (those that had arrived after I had left) were two young ladies
> setting up a camp by themselves a meer 10 meters or so away. Now I
> have thus far had excellent experiences with the chivalry, Sir Axel
> listened and answered  my annoying questions later the next night even
> though he very much wanted to go to bed. This is behavior that I respect.
> The other is not. Now I may be new, but I didn't just bounce off the
> cabbage truck. When I was in the military, I did and got away with all
> sorts of stupid things as a private. However, once I was promoted to
> corporal I was a non-commissioned officer. One single stunt like I had
> pulled as a private would have gotten at least one if not both of those
> little stripes pulled straight off my uniform. Rank hath is priveleges
> that is true. But rank also hath its responsibilites. The higher rank an
> individual achieves, the more under the microscope that individuals
> actions become. It's not fair, but it is the nature of power.
> The very fact that this occured outside of a vigil for a new knight
> probably gauls me more than any other factor. I was thoroughly
> disgusted with the lip service to chivalry at the time. Since then, I
> have talked to and met other knights that have rekindled my belief.
> Perhaps I am responsible due to my own naivety as a new member. I don't
> know, but a peer should be the absolute embodiment of all that is right
> and good in the SCA. Now they are just people and will have good days and
> bad days I'll grant. But keep in my the standard is higher therefore
> it stands to reason that more effort must be made to keep the ideals
> at the forefront as often as possible.
> **Thus my sermon ends**

I have no defense.  Knights aren't perfect.  We should be the ones
trying the hardest, but we only succeed at that sometimes.  When we
fail, it's obvious.  Keep us on our toes, folks.  Let us know when
we're doing it right, and don't hesitate to nudge us when we're blowing
it.  (How do you nudge a knight?  Talk to one you know, and say, "hey,
shouldn't you be offering to help?"  If it's a knight you don't know,
just blatantly ask for help.  He'll know he should have offered.)

Occasionally, we have back or knee troubles.  Please understand we're
not all able-bodied all the time.  But it seems unlikely the group you
saw all had that for an excuse.

I shall try harder.

- Galen of Bristol, KSCA
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