Inspiration is a tricky beast. You know it when you feel it - that frission when you see a gorgeous piece of blackwork, an intricate yet beautiful dance, some stunning illumination, a set of hand-turned finials, a superbly-executed passing shot in a tournament. Or when you eat a mouthwatering morsel, hear a dozen voices creating a magickal harmony, or witness the shining eyes of someone who has just been recognised in exactly the right way in Court.
It can also come at other times - surveying the Canterbury Faire site one afternoon and seeing four different core activities buzzing at once, or attending a high-end event which creates not just one moment but an entire afternoon or day when you feel you are really "there". Or rather: "then".
We are inspired by the generous and well-considered actions of others, and by the leadership which our Crowns, landed Royalty and many Peers frequently offer. They exist to serve not just the game, but the Society, by motivating us to try harder, set more challenging goals and increase our commitment just that little bit more.
Me, I'm inspired by newcomers. Particularly those who arrive, look around, and plug right in to the full range of activities we share -- offering service and ideas and cheerful support as well as simply participating. New people like that are pure gold - as a Peer, they inspire me to try to be the kind of person they will eventually become.
Not every newcomer or member of the populace shines in that manner. Many of us had (or have) sharp edges that are yet to be smoothed and refined by our interactions in this very special culture of service, chivalry and consideration for others. But what is remarkable to me is how consistently that smoothing process can work. Any person -- given time -- is capable of improvement in their manners, their aspirations and their effect upon others, and our Society is one where such improvement is well fostered and hence often noticeable.
Compared to the mundane world, it is rare indeed that one can write off someone as completely irredeemable -- far more likely is a view such as "give him a few more years and, in the meanwhile, let's work on issue X". Which succeeds more often than not.
And that, too, is inspiring.
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