N9MVF writes "Hello, all! Well, I've been lurking around this site for a while, now. Some things I see here really bother me. Some things I am excited to read. Mostly, I'm pretty mellow about most things. I'm really troubled by all of the in-fighting that seems to have infiltrated the rankings of Amateur Radio. We seem to forget that Amateur Radio is just that: AMATEUR. Not professional, not for-hire, but Amateur. We are, however, a "class" that stands alone. We stand for helping our neighbor in distress. We stand for action whenever life or property are at stake. We won't stand for anyone adding to the difficulties of the elderly or disabled. Our service to our families, each other, and to others outside Amateur Radio is MOST important. The non-important distractions like which radio service any one of us started from, how many of us passed the 20-wpm code test for Extra, or 13-wpm code for General, which rig we use or how much power we can put out are so insignificant to what we can accomplish as a community service. I'm not suggesting that these concerns are of NO concern, only trivial compared to the real contributions that we have made and do make every day. Let's focus on the really important things.. not the trivial, fleeting concerns over license restrictions. I say "BIG DEAL" if a fellow Ham upgraded to Extra without passing the 20WPM code test. Did they stop and help with an autopatch call for the mom and 2 kids stranded on the side of the road? BETTER YET: DID YOU!? We try to teach our kids every day that Priviledge and Responsibility go hand in hand. How about we live what we speak? I'm excited to see the recent stories of the "Elmer" concept "returning." It seems that the idea of a single or couple of encouraging hams help along a new or emerging ham has laxed off as of late. I'm glad to see my perspective on that phenomenon was wrong. I had a wonderful elmer in N9ARQ. It really didn't take much for Ray to encourage me, as I was extremely interested. But, he set me on the right path, and gave me a lot of encouragement. Ironically, I had the opportunity to be an "elmer" to my mother (a no-code tech, by the way...) She's blind. I helped her learn, along with her theory cassette tapes, and she passed both tests, first try. I built her little Yagi antennas from stiff wire to help her understand the concept of the various parasitic elements, we made Delta loops and cubical quad antennas from the same stiff wire as well. Anyways... All this brings me back to what we are all about. Helping our community. Whether it is developing new modes, better techniques of communications, improving an electronic circuit on our rig, working a severe weather net on 2Meters, Calling for help from our HT or Mobile for that mother and her kids, or just ragchewing to pass the time, we are a service-oriented radio service. My challenge to you: Don't get hung up on the little things. Focus on the bigger picture, and the details will paint themselves. Thanks for reading! Talk to me on the the 10-10 International Net on 28.800. Ken firstname.lastname@example.org PS: If you don't like the rules, try to change them.. but don't sacrifice the important for the insignificant. I, for one, started as a Novice Class, upgraded to Technician, grandfathered to Tech Plus, but could never get past 12 WPM. Worked for MONTHS on it, even passed the General theory a number of years ago.. but couldn't pass the 13WPM. So, after the code restrictions were removed, I passed the General exam (again...) last weekend. "