Sunday, June 1, 2008

Some Food For Thought!

Some food for thought, I don't know how many of you remember the Amateur's Code that was written by Paul Segal, W9EAA back in 1928. At the time of writing Paul may have hit the nail on the head and his intentions were good and most probably reflected the hobby back then.

However if we review closely the code and apply it to the present and just look around us, you will probably laugh long and hard. Many of the virtues are long gone and I must say from close observation of some hams that they know nothing about being considerate, loyal, progressive, friendly, patriotic and certainly are far from being balanced.

I see the PTT shack couch potatoes emerging who rush home after work have dinner, have less then 10 words with the family, lock themselves into their shacks and call CQ, work pile ups until it is time for bed and repeat the cycle all over again. Rather pitiful. In fact the majority of their friends are over the air and not real life individuals and the only conversations with friends over the air involve exchanging of RS reports, equipment data, bragging about how much power they have and what their WX and grid locators are.

Many cannot interact outside the shack properly with others and have lost balance and even a normal social life, turning arrogant, self centered, "snobbish" , egotistical and full of themselves - all the exact opposite of Paul's code. They have lost touch with reality and lack undestanding of the proper social skills, manners and etiquette in order to "COMMUNICATE", indeed some are spiteful, rude , nasty and downright mean. The main reason is because many have lost all touch with reality, they think that life for them is about being No.1 in Amateur Radio - just exactly what does that add up to???? A big fat 0! They get jealous easily when their ham friends are doing better - contact wise, contest wise, QRO wise, antenna wise, equipment wise, you name it.

The Amateur's Code

The Radio Amateur is:

Considerate...never knowingly operates in such a way as to lessen the pleasure of others. (Not seen this practised in a long time).

Loyal... offers loyalty, encouragement and support to other amateurs, local clubs, and his or her national radio amateur association. (Sadly we do not see much of this today).

Progressive... with knowledge abreast of science, a well-built and efficient station and operation above reproach. (Unfortunately there are so many Push To Talk Operators who have allot of brawn QRO power and do not bother to study their hobby - they have no idea).

Friendly... slow and patient operating when requested; friendly advice and counsel to the beginner; kindly assistance, cooperation and consideration for the interest of others. These are the hallmarks of the amateur spirit. (not seen much around except on the radio, hahaha)

Balanced... radio is an avocation, never interfering with duties owed to family, job, school, or community. (Many are quite the opposite).

Patriotic... station and skill always ready for service to country and community. (??? You figure)

Written by Paul M.Segal, W9EEA, in 1928.

I am not trying to be silly, truthfully ask yourself, how often do you see your friends these days, indeed take a roll call and you will see that you may be losing friends quicker then you can say 59. Are you considerate, friendly and balanced??? Have you been fair to others??? Take a rain check, you should have a social life outside ham radio, if you don't then sorry there is something seriously wrong and you need to re-evaluate things. Are the only two places you spend most of your time the office and your radio shack - if answer is yes, then there is something wrong with your life.

Do you have a "Life" outside the office and the radio shack, review, if the answer is no, it's all ham radio, then I'm truly sorry for you. Balance out ham radio with family, friends and learn how to keep friends, interact properly in a socially accpetable manner instead of losing them. If you think about it, tomorrow we will all be yesterday's news, so get the ugly big chip that you have off your shoulders instead of being so arrogant, spending time being a show off and trying to be a know it all. Above all remember that no one is the center of the universe and you are not the star attraction.

Fortunately I still have a clear perspective on my life, it is not just about ham radio, it is about my family, my real friends around me and how I should keep a social balance. Ham radio is just only a small part, if ham radio is everything to you - then you have nothing! Do I practice what I preach, yes - my life is not just about ham radio. Ham radio is just only one part, I have other circles of friends, other hobbies and interests and I love to write. Now is your life balanced, if not then you should do something about straightening it out. What is the quality of life and the true value of friendship? If you are upset or even annoyed or angry after reading this post, that's good because I really hit a raw nerve and you know that what I have said here is the truth but you can't face it or except the truth. Don't want to listen, then go back to your shack and interact as a PTT operator with your only friends who are on the radio. But sorry, those are so far away and not the friends close by that you really should pay a bit more attention to instead of neglecting.

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