Today I went to the breeding loft to clean out and whilst scraping the floor I picked up a pot containing a vitamin supplement and immediately thought of the Fancier who told me which was the best to use, and although he has passed away, I can still hear his voice. And all through my everyday life I am constantly reminded of friends and aquatints who have passed away and who willingly passed on the benefit of their wisdom, which means for me at least, they live on. A modern day philosopher once said "the best way to achieve immortality is to share your knowledge and when one teaches, two can learn."
All to often our sport is shrouded in secrecy as if there is an innate fear of loosing if words of wisdom or advice are passed on, and I have been giving this some thought.....
Top flyers and Champions could be put into one of two categories;
There are those whose motivation to win comes with the feeling of superiority and a desire to create a kind of enigma about themselves. Far from their minds is the will to impart any information or advice to anyone, be they new starters or long time also rans because they feel taller by keeping their competitors small. This can sometimes be aligned with a commercialism in which you are encouraged to believe that the only way to even gain his attention is by enquiring to buy some of his birds. Even then he will not give advice because to him that as not part of the deal and of course if he is all booked up for the foreseeable future it will boost his ego even more, even though he may not be.
Yesterday, I went to the funeral of such a man. He was a fellow member of the Midland Social Circle, an association which has been going for nearly 50 years and its members to the last are of the second category. Social events are arranged and during these we often discuss the various aspects of the sport and some of his input will live on, long after his death.
I could name many other associates whom I admire and I can get no greater accolade than to be recognised as one of their peers, which is the true, genuine motivation of our great sport. The same modern day philosopher also said;
"Where there is competition, it should be used in a good way. It is positive to want to be first, provided the intention is to pave the way for others, make their path more easy, help them, or show the way. Competition is negative when we wish to defeat others, to bring them down in order to lift ourselves up."
I often hear negative language being used in the sport like "he kicked your arse" or "he was gutted when you had beat him" and when there is only one winner in the race, several others can be left feeling deflated and discouraged. It is far better to try your very best to win the race in order to test your birds adn methods against others and encourage them to think the same.