|Building Your Flower Garden
During my 8 years in Amtgard I have noticed that it is generally acceptable for people to desire recognition in the arts and sciences, but it is generally considered poor taste to want recognition for service to the game. There is nothing wrong with receiving recognition for time devoted to the betterment of the game. This does not mean that you should expect recognition for service or that by devoting time to your kingdom that you have "earned" recognition. If you serve out of expectation for an award then you never "earned it."
I am by no means the all-knowing guru of service, but I do know a few little tricks to get noticed that I learned from my former liege. Never should this guide be thought of as a power guide to becoming a knight.
Step one: Make your name known. Your goal is to never be "that guy cleaning" or "that guy at gate." Above all you should never have to hear someone respond "who?" in reference to your name. In order to accomplish the first step you need to find a way to introduce yourself and be remembered by everyone you come across. It helps to be witty, but it isn’t required. When you are ditching and a clean shot takes you out, compliment their shot and ask for their name. This sets up an opportunity to give them yours; the likelihood of them actually retaining your name is low, but at least they heard it.
Step two: Travel. As you read through just about every guide on E-Sam you find that they recommend travel. Traveling will improve not only your combat skill, but also spread your name to people across the game. These first two steps are important for any kind of game-wide recognition. If you want to be recognized for your garbing ability, then showcase it by traveling. If you want to be recognized for your fighting ability, then travel so more people may be ended by your sword. If you want to be recognized for service, then the only way is through people knowing your name. Go showcase your name.
Step three: Assist. If someone asks for volunteers then guess what… volunteer. These people are looking for assistance, and will learn your name if for no other reason than to give you directions on what they need done. If someone asks for help you should never say no.
Step four: Major service. In order to truly grow your Rose garden, you need to not only help others but be the idea man that requires help. Organize something on an ever-growing scale. Run that battle game, cook that feast. Don’t just take that extra gate shift, run the whole gate. Make yourself indispensable in all facets of the game. You will find that you miss out on a battle game now and then, but this never means you have to forgo them entirely.
Step five: Running the show. Take the time to design your dream event. If it seems too grand or large scale for you to handle on your own, then you should find someone with experience to assist you. Another alternative is to befriend someone who is running an event and shadow them while they autocrat the event. This allows you a valuable learning experience without the risk of running the event yourself and while still enabling you to see everything that hosting the show entails.
Step six: Eternal flame. If you assist whenever possible, contribute to the betterment of the game, and sacrifice your time to run and host events we all love and enjoy that one day you will find yourself a Master Rose. Upon becoming a Master Rose, some people forget about service and just wait for a chunk of white cow. If your ultimate goal is to obtain that white cow, then you can never stop serving. Once you obtain that white cow you should never stop serving either. You should always strive to earn your knighthood. Having a belt doesn’t mean that it is time to start working on a different project; it means that, when another adventure comes along, you should never find yourself saying "no" to a cry for assistance.
The most important thing through all of this is to remember that you are not in service for the awards; you are in service to serve. If you keep this mentality then you will find that the awards will come and people will not accuse you of simply serving because you are award hungry. People deemed to be award hungry are often looked over. Serve to serve, never serve to get the cookie.
Build your Rose garden, but be the center-piece of your garden as an eternal flame.
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