Friends it is the case that many groups work in a vacuum. That may for technical, safety, or any number of reasons. However decisions have been made in the past about how well some things do fit together, or whether they fit together ‘well enough’.
Take the case of the Laurel. Arts can, and do, vary vastly in process, scope, materials, and so much more. Yet we can in almost every situation take an art, break it down, and assess it. What do I mean? Arts can be studied, documented, reviewed, and displayed. A similar review process can be applied across art forms. We can standardize on what is an art, and get people to judge it who may not even be in that specific field.
This brings me to the idea of being inclusive where it comes to polling orders, and other orders of merit. Let’s take the Order of the Yew Bow as an example. The order includes a wide range of activities, presumably open to others not technically listed. This makes sense in that those in a martial community are able to apply the same logic in their fields, to others. Teaching, prowess, skill, related arts, teaching, and more. The same way we could ‘judge’ a candidate using my time as an archer, would equally apply to a combat archer. Can they hit a target, are they proficient, make and repair equipment, empower others, leaders, etc.
We can make decisions about how we assess candidates, and apply knowledge we have, and fudge as necessary to make accommodations for any ignorance.
Those who are worthy, and valued should not be made to wait until an order exists that fits perfectly. We are an imperfect Society, and as such should be tolerant, and forgiving.
If you have an order in your Kingdom, or group, and you are currently not inclusive, I humbly beg you to review your reasons. Are they sound? Founded in solid logic with an eye to inclusion? Would a group of archers be harmed in including a combat archer? Are we not cut from the same cloth?
For me the solution is quite straight forward, but we should always welcome discussion and be willing to be swayed by a good argument, even if we don’t like the result. If we have a light to shine, let’s shine brighter and be a beacon across the known world. Talk to your fellow members. If not a member, speak with the Principal, or members of that order or group that are in a position to make a difference. Let them know it makes a difference to you.