[Northern] Please make it stop!

Fitzmorgan@cs.com Fitzmorgan at cs.com
Thu May 17 21:45:30 PDT 2001

[ Picked text/plain from multipart/alternative ]
I spent most of the evening writing this and just as I was about to post it I
got word that the Crown has removed My Baron and Baroness.  I don't know why.
 I feel like I've been kicked in the gut.  I wasn't sure if I should post
this or not.  I'm stil not.  But maybe it will help.  The part about not
going anywhere I'm not so sure about anymore.


       I've had a few people wondering "What's up with Robert?".  It has been
a rough couple of weeks.
        At Namron's investiture last year I couldn't think of anything that
would be neater than to be Ulf's Bard, except to be Bard of Ansteorra.  When
that didn't happen I resolved to come back and try again this year.  As
Beltane approached I found that I was looking for reasons not to go, and
slowly I realized that I did not want to be the Bard of Namron because that
would obligate me to keep playing for another year.  I was rather surprised
as the implications of THAT thought sank in.  I realized that I didn't want
to do this anymore.  I realized that I wasn't having fun anymore.  There are
a lot of reasons, but one of them was that I'm just sick of seeing people I
care about being hurt.  Another Is that I haven't done anything that
challenged me in a long time.  Nothing that required me to grow or learn or
stretch myself.
       I went to Eldern this weekend with the express purpose of seeing if I
could manage to have a good time.  I didn't.  So I began the process of
divesting myself of many of the obligations I had assumed so that I would be
free to leave without leaving anybody in the lurch.  I hadn't actually
decided to leave, I was just setting things up where I could If I decided to
later.  Then something happened Saturday night that didn't really sink in
until after I got home.  I overheard a conversation where someone was talking
trash about My Baroness.  And I didn't say anything because I didn't want to
cause a fuss.  And after I got home and started thinking about it and
realized that I had sat by and remained silent while someone attacked a
person I admire and consider a friend and who has been very good to me over
the years, and someone who I know would have defended me in that situation,
and I felt ashamed of myself.  Not the least because this wasn't the first
time I had remained silent in this situation.  I have listened to the lies,
sometimes believed them, and even repeated them.  I went to an event to have
fun and relax and came home angry and ashamed.  Something had to change.  I
can't change what other people do but I can change what I do.  It wasn't too
late to speak out.  That's what prompted my post of a few days ago.
       Since then I've recieved several messages of encouragement both public
and private.  Thank all of you.  I especially want to thank those who had the
courage to admit that they too have been guilty of this.  It helped.  What
helped most of all were the postings by Gillian and Aelfwyn about the
memories that bring them joy.  I'm feeling better.  I'm not saying all this
because I want sympathy or because I want to make people feel bad.  It's not
easy for me to be this open but I think that it's important to make people
understand one very important thing.  When you talk bad about someone, that
person is somebody's friend, perhaps somebody's mentor, maybe even somebody's
hero.  When you attack someone your words hurt more than just the person you
are attacking.  Ultimately they diminish us all.
       I also realized that I was about to do something that I had recently
been critical of others for.  Not fighting for what I believe in.  Folks I'm
not going anywhere.  At least not without trying to make it better. I'm going
to stay and fight for what I believe in.  I believe in Ansteorra.  I believe
in my friends.  I believe that we can be better than we are.  I believe that
if we work together we can do anything.  I believe that we are the finest
people in the world.  We just need to be reminded of that occasionally.  And
I believe that if I try hard enough I can make a difference.
       I want to leave you with a thought I had today that left me smiling
the rest of the day.  I hope the image will take hold in others the way it
did me and make you look at things differently.

       When a fighter walks onto the list field he is doing two things.  He
is pitting himself against his opponent to see who will be the victor, and he
is publicly in full view of everyone putting his or her honor to the test.
He walks onto that field determined that win or loose he will walk off that
field with his honor intact.  He will never strike from behind, or strike a
defenseless opponent.  He will not take an unfair advantage and will treat
his opponent with courtesy and chivalry.  And win or lose they will walk off
the field as comrades.
       What if we conducted all our affairs off the field by that same
standard?  That win or lose we will leave with our honor intact.  That we
will never attack from behind or attack someone who can't defend themselves.
That we will never take an unfair advantage and will always treat each other
with courtesy and chivalry, and that we will always behave as if we are
publicly in full view of everyone putting our honor to the test.  Because we

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