What It's Going to Take (to make the NPRM work) This is good. We've all been venting our various impressions/emotions concerning the FCC NPRM, preparing our comments, or making comments on the FCC Website. But what next? For all intents and purposes, the Fat Lady is clearing her throat on the removal of telegraphy testing. Like it or not, it will come to pass in some form. Amateur Radio is indeed changing in a big way. The traditional Amateur Radio of recent years past was a right of passage. New amateurs came into the hobby and learned the ropes with the help of their Elmers. It was a slow deliberate process. A premium was put on what you knew and what you could do. Part and parcel of that tradition was the Morse Code requirement. Although computers were welcomed for their ability to run logging software and microprocessors in our rigs, there was a clear line between Amateur Radio and the computer world. Today, Amateur Radio is evolving into areas where function rules over form. An example of this is Echolink, where people can talk over the computer and/or an RF link through an internet connection to a person on the other side of the country or the world. To older Amateurs, this is poor "form". To new Amateurs, this is good "function" and the form is irrelevent. Likewise in a world of instant gratification (a.g. computer games etc.), the "work your way up through the ranks" method is seen as an arcane hazing ritual. This fundamental difference has resulted in a huge split in the Amateur Radio ranks. In most cases the telegraphy testing issue has been the lightning rod for alot of pent-up frustration on both sides. Many older amateurs see this as the ultimate act in the dumbing down of the hobby, while many no code amateurs have found telegraphy to be the insurmountable barrier leading to failure and frustration. The fundamental question is, what is it going to take to begin the healing process if there can ever be a healing process? Anti-telegraphy testing proponents are already finding out that simply removing the test will not get them the respect they desire as amateurs. What can we all do? The first step is to remember that internet reflectors like QRZ.COM may be ABOUT Amateur Radio, but are really not Amateur Radio. So for amateurs, we must start the process by totally disregarding what is said here when it comes time to get on the air. Everybody deserves a chance and the benefit of the doubt. Given this chance to succeed, no code General and Extra Class operators must realize that the ham ticket is not the end of a journey, but the beginning. It is a ticket to the big game. The next "rule" should be to leave discussions about telegraphy testing on the internet reflectors, and confine ourselves to the regular amateur topics. No religion, no politics, and now add "no telegraphy arguments" to the golden rules of conversation. After all, how you operate your station speaks volumes about you as a person. This won't be about whether you know telegraphy, it will be about what you show of yourself on the air in knowledge and cooperation. Do you have a willingness to take advice and learn? If you're one of the many Amateurs having a real problem with the proposed FCC ruling, it may be time to examine your motivation and options. You may desire to retreat to the simple life of CW where Amateur Radio living is measured and easy. Maybe it is time for a sabatical. Perhaps the company of close friends on the air will help, as long as you're willing to give all comers the benefit of the doubt. Surely this peroid in our history will show what we're all made of. There is much "high ground" left for both sides. Pro coders can show they are professional on the air and help the newcomers grow to be great hams. No coders can help pro coders protect CW as a mode from infringement by voice and data. Both sides can realistically evaluate future petitions from the common ground of being radio amateurs sharing a common resource. Both sides can continue to insist that the ARRL be more representative of its membership. While the debate may rage on here on the Internet for years to come, we will be judged on what we say and do on the air. Are we as good as we say we are?