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Re: Courtesy: An Immigrant's Perspective


My Lord Ambrosius,

I read your missive with interest and concern. It has prompted me to do
something I almost never do- respond to a list rather than an individual.
I'm truly sorry your stay in Atlantia has been so distressful for you, and
I don't wish in any way to say what you feel is wrong, but I wanted another
"immigrant's" viewpoint to be heard. 

I live on the far side of West Virginia, a 7 to 8 hour drive each way from
the DC area. Its a drive I usually make once or twice a month. At times I've
made it 8 weekends out of 12. I've decided (by myself and not particularly
caring what the official rules may say) that the place where I spend
quality time should outweigh the place I pay rent for and have declared 
myself an Atlantian- somehting I'm usually insufferably smug about when I 
announce my Kingdom of allegience. I have little to no contact with the 
active group in my area because I've yet to see any of the ideals of
honor and courtesy here that seem to flow so freely in Storvik and Bright
Hills. I've been to southern events in Atlantia and have never been 
disappointed in the level of courtesy shown there. Its never seemed to 
me to be any less or more than that I've found in the more northern areas.

For 4 years, about 90% of my job was travelling. I've met society members
and attended events from California to Puerto Rico, from Texas to Ohio. 
I've noticed wildly divers cultural differences which almost always come
from the current attitudes of the local leadership. Its very difficult
to get a true feel for what is going on when you spend a week to a month
in an area before moving on, but I have yet to find an area I want to 
call home more than I do Storvik. 

I've no doubt things here are less formal and tradition-laden than they 
are in Atenveldt. I've also no doubt that, in period, it wouldn't be
difficult to find times and places that were less formal than Elizabethan
England (being of Irish persona and friends with several Vikings, its
really not difficult for me to imagine this state of affairs). Its a
cultural difference, not necessarily a difference that arises out of 
ignorance or lack of training. 

At the last event I attended, the Baron held a small court for the children.
This way, they could learn how to approach a throne, what they should
say and who they should bow to. That part was useful. But what was even more
central was the talk he gave on courtesy, honor and chivalry and how to 
apply them. The younger generation isn't being ignored. 

I've often heard it said that the society is growing too fast for its own
good and many of the ideals we cherish aren't being passed along to new
members. But when you talk to new members, you tend to find the reason
they joined is becasue this is the one aspect of their lives where they
can live the concepts of honor and chivalry and expect others to do the
same. There are always exceptions. Personally, I tend to ignore them and
save my energy for dealing with gentles. There are very few people in 
Atlantia I choose to ignore. 

Your ideas of leading by example are very good ones. If people choose to 
follow you, then maybe you'll get a Kingdom more like that of Atenveldt.
But if they don't, please consider that it may be because, just as there
is a cultural difference between Scotland and Greece, there may be an
ingrained difference between Atenveldt and Atlantia and neither one or the
other can be judged "superior".

			Lady Jane Norah Carrick
			     (usually called Generica)

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