Right now, as many of you out there in Facebook know, there are some rather controversial topics being bantered back and forth within the SCA and at the Board level. I won’t take up your time by reiterating my thoughts on these topics, as I have already spouted off about them at great length. But rather, I would like to give you some perspective on how important it is at all times for us all to keep an open mind, regardless of where we stand on the issue.
Here in Gyldenholt, we regularly host Unbelted Tourney in January. While the event has been going on for decades, there are some little facets of the event that have indeed changed over the years. Take lunch, for instance. In the past, everybody was on his or her own, often packing a sandwich or running off-site to a local Burger King. But one day, a relatively new person who was involved in the local cooking guild said, “Hey, why don’t we make a buy-as-you-go lunch on-site as a fundraiser?” Truthfully, I dismissed the idea immediately, figuring it would never work. Unbelted is already a really busy event with a lot of uncertainty because of weather, little daylight, etc. All I could think about was the fact that we hadn’t done it, people weren’t used to it, people wouldn’t support it, how hard it would be to have to bring out equipment and pre-cook, and all kinds of other negatives. Know what?
I WAS WRONG!
The first time we did it, sure we ran into a couple of little glitches here and there. But it was not just a success, but a really good fundraiser. And guess what – we’ve done it that way ever since. Why? Because it works, it adds to the event, and it is awesome period food!
A few years later, I became Baronial seneschal. I remember the day that Maeve approached me with a lot of enthusiasm saying that we should put together a Baronial Facebook page. I didn’t stop her. I didn’t discourage her. But honestly, I believed it would be a waste of time. Why? Well, we already had ways to communicate. We had relied on our yahoogroups for a while and things seemed to work well. Why in the world would we need to add a Facebook page? Who in the world would start using Facebook? Know what?
I WAS WRONG!
Whereas at the time, we had new forms of social media budding, and it didn’t seem like they would be All the Rage, history has shown that we do our strongest forms of SCA communication nowadays via Facebook. And when my hubby began really pushing subscription to the Baronial Facebook page, I saw our virtual little world grow at an incredible rate.
Not long after becoming Baron, I wanted to see the Barony work together on a community building project. And thus, my obsession with making gonfalons began. After all, I didn’t have to invent anything. I had the design that Baron Bran came up with for House Corvus, and all we would need to do was reproduce what had already been done, right? I showed the concept to one of our newer people, Dafydd. He looked at it, mentally recorded the concept, went home, and worked on some improvements. He then came to me with a different idea. I was not happy. It just didn’t work in my brain. Why change a design that has already been done? I didn’t really think his ideas would necessarily be an improvement. Know what?
I WAS WRONG!
The design he came up with was just brilliant! They look so much better, stand tall and stable, and just look pretty damned cool embellishing not just our barony but the other baronies of the kingdom.
So what is the point of me making these embarrassing confessions? Is it to prove what an idjot I am? No (not that I can’t be an idjot – that just isn’t my point today). The point is, sometimes if we allow ourselves to be so Right in our Rightness, we don’t let in new ideas that may in fact be better. If we become so determined to do it like we did before, we close ourselves off to new discoveries, new ideas, and new technologies. When we become so stubborn and protective of keeping it exactly how it was yesterday, we fail to notice just how much opportunity for growth we have if we would just calm down and realize that the new idea is not a threat to the old way, but an improvement. As scary as it is to consider for some of us (myself included), sometimes change is for the better. Sometimes, change gives us the chance and the opportunity to learn more, become stronger and become more understanding.
So as we move forward into the past, I have a request – please help me to always remember to keep an open mind, and please try your best to do the same.
Whose with me?