The Reasons for Writing
When the Romans withdrew from Britain and the so called 'Dark Ages' began. It wasn't only the visible stuff like mosaics, underfloor heating, tiled roofs or advanced building that stopped. The real big change was the written word ceased to be used. The written word afforded a wider view of the then known world. The spoken word narrowed everything and tribal life became the only possibility. That is why in the pigeon world propositions for any AGM have to be submitted in writing. Minutes are written down and recorded and bank statements are put on display.
Writing is an entirely different thought process than speaking. One is permanent the other is transitory. One is designed to be understood widely by others you had never met. Speaking confines listeners to a more narrow a view. Speaking also changes depending on who is listening. The Roman written word on the other hand was a constant account.
The written word is - I think it fair to say - more organised thinking than the spoken word. That is why the Romans were organised and could build the tribes were not and could not build.
The Dark ages continued until written remnants of Latin - still understood and used in Irish monasteries found a foothold on the mainland. Saint Columba established a monastery on the Isle of Iona. Soon afterwards more monastic sites were established in Lindisfarne and Monkswearmouth. St Bede, a monk in Jarrow, contributed hugely to the written word by writing his now famous ‘ Ecclesiastical History of the English People’. This was the first attempted overview since Roman times. Writing was at last on the move.
The next big move was after the Norman conquest. The Normans recorded in detail a list of their conquest by village, town and county. This record was called the ‘Doomsday Book’ and for the time was the greatest written audit of it’s time.
Magna Carta - another written document followed - and a few hundred years later ‘The King James’ version of the bible. A document that was to last for three hundred years. The written word was gathering pace.
I hope I have convinced every one of the importance of writing. Writing is thinking - writing is a form of words or communication that can be mulled over at a later date. It is with this intention in mind pigeon clubs today record minutes of meetings. That is why propositions also have to be submitted in writing.
Unfortunately the modern pigeon sport is gradually slipping away from the written word and erring towards the spoken word. Many think decisions can be made more quickly by not writing them down. This is a huge mistake. This attitude misses the democratic point for it tends to allow strong personalities who by their commanding oral presence can sway meetings to their point of view and in the process make thinking smaller.
Today we seem to need everything to be quicker. We appear to have less time in everything we do. . Quickness has taken its toll on Pigeon Racing. The more things are spoken and the less they are written, the worse the outcome and the narrower the view.
That is why most of the leaders and decision makers in the sport now rely only on the spoken word to influence the majority more than they did a few generations ago. Few leaders, committee men or Councillors now think it unnecessary to write and publish their thoughts. There is a feeling for some that to be elected to the RPRA Council is a sign that they have arrived like they were in a race and have won. A few think they now do not need to do anything more so these few contribute nothing after they get elected. . I feel RPRA Councillors should be selected from what they have written and actively encouraged to continue writing in their weekly journal the BHW. We would all like to know their thoughts and thinking about the sport and if necessary hold them to account. We would also like to know if they have little to say.
It might be said because of this reluctance to write. the sport is becoming more tribal. There is certainly evidence of this. Mobile phones and the need for immediate fast communication have had an enormous influence in directing us towards short term ‘off the cuff’ thinking’. British strains or families of pigeons are no longer created. Long term thinking is in decline. We no longer feel the need to write or express ourselves in the writing in exactly a similar way the tribes of the Dark Ages did thousands of years ago. It might be said the modern sport of Pigeon Racing is itself entering its own Dark Age and a withdraw from the written word has something to do with it.