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Peers, Made or Recognized

Greetings from Yaakov.

Luther wrote:

 >   I'm not a Peer and I don't play one on TV but I'll stick my neck out and
>somehow, to actively seek a peerage (of any kind) seems like vanity. It's
>to aspire to something. But at some point ask yourself, what it is that you
>really aspiring to? 
>   The token is tarnished by desire for it. 

This is established SCA gospel.  Throwing caution to the wind, I disagree.

Primus:  The desire to be recognized for one's achievements is not, it seems
to me, vanity.  If one may aspire to be the best, then why should one not
want the recognition as well?  Folks frequently cut a fine dance on this with
the saying "I want to be *worthy* of a peerage, but I don't want a peerage
itself. "  This is, to my taste, entirely too self-effacing.  If I felt
worthy of a peerage, I would find it unjust if I were not recognized for it.

Example: I wish to be the best story-teller in the known world.  I wish to
teach story-telling to lots of people, so that I will have lots of fellow
excellent story-tellers to play with.  If I ever accomplish these goals, and
met the expectations of character (which, without false modesty, I should
like to think I already meet, but I'll get back to that point), I should be
bitterly disappointed if my efforts went completely unnoticed.

Secondus:  Let us not kid ourselves about the character of peers.  All of us
strive to have the "peerage" traits of nobility and honor.  I beleive most of
us succeed.  I believe some peers fail.  What makes a peer is not merely
inner virtue, but *talent*.     It doesn't matter how many people you drive
to an event, or whether you give up your seat to an elderly gentle.  *Most*
of us do that.  What makes a peer is that, *in addition* to this, they have a
talent for swinging a stick, doing an A&S, or bureaucracy.   So, using myself
as an example again, I think I have the "moral qualities" of a peerage, else
I could not live with myself.  I believe my friends have these talents as
well.  I believe those who are my friends "recognize" my virtues in the way I
recognize theirs, with displays of trust and friendship.  So a peerage would
not recognize my virtue, but my talent.

Tertius: I believe our culture of publicly abjuring awards is not merely
wrong, it couses harm.  It creates a situation where people are taught *not*
to expect thanks for their work or talents.  Worse, they are supposed to
consider themselves unworthy, since considering themselves worthy0 of
recognition or praise automaticly disqualifies them and makes them the worst
sort of cad.  I was in the SCA for six years before I got an AOA, in large
part because by the time I was noticed folsk thought I already had it.  After
a few years, it really started to bug me.  After all, hadn't I done good
service by my barony?  Wasn't I a worthy human being?  Yet the culture of the
SCA, which makes it forbiden to even secretely *want* recognition and praise,
 made it impossible for me to discuss my problem with friends, or even admit
it to myself.  I got bitter and nearly burned out on the SCA, until I
unexpectedly got my AOA.  When it made me feel better, I figured out what the
problem was.

(As a side point, it is one of the advantages of my mercanary bardic.  I can
validate myself and my skills quite nicely without some trinket from a king,
thank you.)

Let us pretend we have a fighter who wants to be a knight.  He is now good
enough to win most of the time.  He is a nice fellow.  He helps out in his
shire and everyone seems to like him.  But he hasn't been knighted.  The way
the system is structured, he can't ask anyone why.  He has to pretend he
doesn't even *want* a knighthood.  Heck, he has to convince himself that he
doesn't want a knighthood, and that any feelings of desire for one are
unworthy on his part and proof that he doesn't *deserve* knighthood.  So he
goes on, unable to find out what's wrong, convincing himself he's unworthy,
and getting frustrated and bitter and feeling guilty at the same time.

Why is this a good thing?