Several friends of mine have posted this article by Master Cormac Mor out in Caid about the question of “Why aren’t you a Peer yet?”
I posted my thoughts to my Facebook account with the aforementioned link to Master Cormac’s article:
Also, please stop asking people why they haven’t received X award.
If you believe that they should be recognized by the Crown, send in an award recommendation.
I can tell you that I submit my own recommendations at least once a month, if not more frequently, because I want to see folks around me be recognized. It gives me great joy when the Crown recognizes someone that I’ve put in because they see the same merits I do (plus it’s incredible seeing the looks of awe and appreciation on the recipients’ faces). Even better when, as a scribe, I’m offered the opportunity to do that person’s scroll.
This is, outside of simply being a welcoming presence, one of the most direct ways of “being the change” in the SCA.
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If you’re in the Midrealm and want/need assistance learning the new recommendation system, please don’t hesitate to ask. My inbox is generally open, and I’m willing to walk folks through how to do it.
While we’re at it, I have a special feeling of contempt for people who say that you shouldn’t strive to become Peer-like or work towards becoming a member of a Peerage. That means (in my opinion) being honest, kind, steadfast in your convictions, willing to learn, willing to apologize, and helping out how you can *to the best of your ability*.
I’m not a Peer. Don’t know if I’ll ever be recognized as one (that’s up to the Crown), but what I can tell you is that I do try to live my life in the best way possible according to my personal Code.
I’m also a protege and a student. It is no secret that I aspire to be a Pelican; my calling is service and making the SCA a welcoming and open place regardless of my desire to increase my fighting prowess. And I have some lofty dream of someday becoming a Laurel in leatherworking and/or historical queer studies. But that’s me.
I think the biggest issue is that there are people in the SCA obsessed with becoming a peer simply for the status or some ill-perceived idea that peerage equals power. That is who most people have issue with.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to be a peer so you can serve the people of our kingdom. I share your goals/dreams but in my mind I have added in the “the award part doesn’t matter if people know they can come to me for advice on either service or art. I want to be at a point with my calligraphy and illumination where not only can I answer questions but people actually come to me for advice. If that means getting a laurelate, cool.”
To me, the journey is worth so much more than the possible reward.