“Problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them.” – Albert Einstein

Okay, ready to tackle an SCA question.  My non-SCA readers can now put their fingers in their ears and say la-la-la-la, or read on, because the following has applications in the real-world.  It’s kind of along the lines of mentor-student relationships, role models, and personal authenticity.

 Kat asks:

 OK. I would love your take on a thought I posted on my own blog a bit ago…

“…are you acting like a Peer, or acting like your Peer? Are you best trying to improve yourself in the quest for enlightenment and better judgement, or just emulating someone who already has the accolade?”

 This answer will come from two perspectives.  First, as a Peer, and then as a squire to a Knight.

The first is easy – I had absolutely no intention of ever being a Pelican, and I made no conscious attempt to emulate one.  As a point of fact, it took a couple of heartfelt talks with people I respect immensely to convince me that it was even a good idea to become one.  I became a Pelican simply because there was work in front of me that had to be done, and I was capable and willing and inspired to do it.  Not for the recognition in any way, shape, or form, but honestly, truly, and completely because it gave me a warm feeling to help other people have fun playing the game.  It made me feel good to be able to “make it so” when my Crown asked me to “make it so”.  I enjoyed showing people that THEY can really ask “why not?” instead of “why”.  I like to empower others.  It’s the core of my deepest satisfaction.  I am truly a teacher and a mom at heart.  And ultimately, isn’t that what a Pelican is?  A teacher and a mom with a little bit of corporate organizer thrown in?

So here’s the thing – I didn’t become a Peer by trying to make myself better.  I became a Peer by trying to help OTHER people be what they have the potential to be, and I learned about myself in the process.

Now, as a squire to a Knight, the answer is a bit more complicated.  First,  not to beleaguer the obvious, but there aren’t a lot of role models out there that fit MY particular situation.  Not that I put a lot of emphasis on that, but frankly I have to be the knight I can be as a woman.  I cannot change what I am, but I cannot ignore the fact that it comes with its own particular set of challenges and baggage.  That being said, I chose my Knight because he was the Knight I wanted to be.  He had the qualities that I believe are Knightly.  I do not try to emulate him.  I do not try to BE him.  But I absolutely take encouragement from him, learn from him, and keep his actions in mind when I choose my own.

But ultimately, I have to be the Peer that I can be.  Me – the individual me.  When I was on the throne the first time, several of the “Old Dead Queens” gave me some fantastic advice.  All of it was good.  But I couldn’t follow all of it.  Why?  Because I am not them.  If I try to be something I am not, it WILL ring false.  The average person is remarkably good at detecting authenticity in the long run.  I could only be the Queen I knew how to be, and pour my entire heart into THAT vision.  Not somebody else’s.

You cannot become a Peer, in my opinion, without become intimately acquainted with your own strengths, and particularly your own weaknesses.    I say particularly your weaknesses, because only by recognizing them and embracing them can you really grow as a person.  You have to be willing to poke and prod those more painful parts of your character, and understand your own motivations and skills, and base that understanding not just on the parts of yourself that make you happy. 

If you manage to get the accolade without doing this, it’s just so much more jewelry you have to haul around.

February 22nd, 2008 at 12:06 pm
4 Responses to “I gotta be me! I gotta be me!”
  1. 1
    Bambi Says:

    Thank you for your answer. I am very glad that you are my peer and that you are there to guide me.
    But just you so you I do want yo be just like you 🙂

  2. 2
    JuanGrande Says:

    Wait till I tell Foose that he’s a mom….


  3. 3
    Kat Says:


    Thanks. I was starting to wonder… then realized that mundania’s probably throwing you just as much a curveball as I’ve personally handled recently.

    One more thing to add… I think that for many associates, there’s an unintentional push to force them into their Peer’s mold by certain members of the populace. As in, “you took Master X’s belt, you must be just like him.” While I do believe that many associates seek a mentor with similar attributes (I was guilty of this myself); assuming similarities is dangerous and, well, assumptive.

    Ever on the search for personal enlightenment…

  4. 4
    Tracey Says:

    I sure wish I’d known your thoughts about this a while back…it could have saved me a bunch of headache and heartache, and maybe I’d still be playing. It is good to know that someone feels the way I do about things. (Even if I can’t write it so eloquently!) I’m glad i’ve got you. Thanks for posting this.