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[Articles Home]  [Add Article]  

Ham Radio, Goodwill, and Friendship

C Larson (VA4SR) on August 30, 2013
View comments about this article!

For friendship is nothing other than goodwill and affection in divine and human things.

--- De Amiciti, Cicero

Friendship and goodwill are deeply connected. You can’t say that you have goodwill toward someone and not be open to their friendship. You can’t say that you are someone’s friend and not exhibit goodwill toward them. In the USA (WU0X) Title 47 of the FCC, Part 97, Subpart A, 97.1 (e), states that the amateur radio service is, in part, designed to continue and extend international goodwill. It's a good addition to otherwise sterile regs.

There are two classic works written on friendship. The first, De Amicitia (On Friendship) was written by Cicero in 44 B.C.. The second was a rewriting and expansion of De Amicitia by Aelred of Rievaulx in the early/mid-12th century. He entitled his work, On Spiritual Friendship. Both of them are extremely discerning works about what constitutes friendship and what does not. As such they cut to the chase when it comes to talking about goodwill.

Both of these works recognize different levels of what is commonly called friendship. Yet only one is true friendship, and as such would lead to genuine international goodwill.

Both of these works recognize that:

• The term friendship is often applied to people who are involved together in activities that are criminal. Some friendships are based on this type of common activity. Friendship in these activities serves to bolster one another’s courage to act in manners that prey upon others, or to denigrate one another’s characters. Sadly, some people never advance beyond this level of behavior, and wind up ruining the lives of both themselves and others around them. This type of friendship ends when one of the parties ceases to participate in the activity.

• The term friendship is also used with others who are engaged in the same activities that are considered above board. People become friends because of common goals. These include business, special interest clubs, and associations. It may even include a sense of nationalism, or ethnic pride. And many marriages and other social contracts fall under this type of friendship. But once again, in spite of the goals of these common activities being positive and perhaps even noble, these friendships end when participation in the common goal ceases. Business partnerships dissolve, marriages end. In the end you are not welcome back at the office if you take another job, or in your spouse’s home once you separate. It doesn’t have to be that way, but it most often is.

The dynamics of these relationships highlight that these so- called forms of friendship are conditional. When considered in the context of international goodwill, then the so-called international goodwill associated with them is also disingenuine. You cannot say that you have international goodwill in some things, or at certain times, or with some people, and not at others. That's just prejudice in disguise.

By definition goodwill transcends the limitations that you may want to impose. In other words, genuine goodwill is not conditional. As someone with training in clinical depth psychology one of the most difficult things that I have had to discuss with people whose relationships have dissolved has been their complicitousness in the lack of genuine goodwill between parties...we all want to be self-justified and to think more kindly of ourselves. And indeed, a large part of therapy is involved in unmasking these cover-ups that we use to tell ourselves that we are nice people, when actually we are not.

• But both the Roman statesman Cicero and the Anglo- Saxon Aelred agree that there is a genuine friendship which begets genuine goodwill. According to both of them genuine goodwill emerges from friendship that is founded on friendship for friendship’s sake. This friendship may be disappointed when one of the partners has a moral failure. But it is reconciliatory and stays loyal even when one or the other is no longer a part of the association that caused it to form in the first place. This action, and neither of the first two, is the only basis for promoting genuine goodwill.

When it comes to amateur radio genuine goodwill could not be more needed today. As radio operators have the opportunity to talk with others around the world it is imperative that we become friends not so that some goal can be achieved, but simply for the sake of friendship for its own sake. This may not be easy for everyone to do. Without ever having taken the opportunity to see the world through someone else’s eyes, it is difficult, but it is not impossible, and is certainly a starting point for developing a better working practice of goodwill on the air.

Radio communication based on one’s unspoken assumptions of national or political superiority are not true goodwill. True goodwill involves a selflessness that may even cost you something for the sake of radio communication. And I have to say that in my role as a counsellor very few people are able to name or naturally attain this degree of egolessness in the world, even in their most valued relationships.

If you want to learn how to be genuinely good-willed, then you need be asking questions of others more than talking about yourself. You also need to learn to suspend your judgment. And finally, it is important to enlarge your worldview enough to allow the things you learn from others to start a dialogue in your own head about your own beliefs, how these might be only a partial and perhaps ego-driven (or even adolescent) view of the world. By being opened up in this we become even more people of goodwill, able to accept others who might have a very different take on life than yourself, which as for me is one of the reasons that I am an amateur radio operator.

73 de VA4SR

Member Comments:
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Ham Radio, Goodwill, and Friendship  
by K1CJS on August 30, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
It's nice to be able to cite and talk about an 'ideal' world, but today's world is far from that. It's a human world, and sadly, the humans occupying it are, for the most part, going from bad to worse. A few try to keep above it all, but they're drowning in the sea of the rest.

If human beings could get rid of their greed and foster co-operation, things would change, but that is unlikely to happen--not these days.
 
Ham Radio, Goodwill, and Friendship  
by K8QV on August 30, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Talking (ragchewing) with hams in various parts of the world gives me perspective. It's good to hear first hand how people in other countries view America's foreign policy and our general influence on culture. American media doesn't paint a very realistic picture of what's really going on.
 
Ham Radio, Goodwill, and Friendship  
by KE4ZHN on August 30, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
The author of this piece must never listen to 14.313.
 
As easy as key down or the PTT squeeze.  
by AI2IA on August 30, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
This is a kind of lofty, philosophical essay somewhat distant from the mike and the key of amateur radio.

Put concisely, the essence of ham radio good will and friendship is found in RAG CHEWING.

Not everyone is good at this in the beginning, but the fact is that you can get better and better at it as you go. You really don't even need to be good at it, just friendly.

It's not necessary to stay a long time on the air in a QSO. Ask a few questions. Share a few ideas. Talk about conditions and wish the other ham good times. You'll see him down the log.

Every time you fire up the rig, make it a point to call CQ at least once before you go QRT, and you will be right up there with the best of them.
 
RE: As easy as key down or the PTT squeeze.  
by K0BG on August 30, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Walt Kelly, through the lips of Pogo... "We have met the enemy, and he is us".
 
Ham Radio, Goodwill, and Friendship  
by K4EZD on August 30, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Thanks for the article and your insightful comments. As a
philosophy major with a minor in classical languages I really enjoyed your comments and agree with its message. I see amateur radio in its essence as one opportunity for
"one small step for man" in the progress towards understanding our shared human condition regardless of geographic or political location.
 
RE: Ham Radio, Goodwill, and Friendship  
by N4JTE on August 30, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Yeah, I do that every time I am having a qso, naturally, without the historical anecdotes and over thinking, but tnx for your thoughts.
Bob
 
RE: Ham Radio, Goodwill, and Friendship  
by N4JTE on August 30, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Besides the somewhat ponderous tone of this article, I can't find his callsign on any data base, oh well!
Bob
 
Ham Radio, Goodwill, and Friendship  
by K4RKY on August 30, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
I have heard that name before. Time to hit the old log books. Puzzling why the call sign doesn't come up. I suppose the article could be called thought provoking? C'est la vie.
 
Ham Radio, Goodwill, and Friendship  
by AJ4RW on August 31, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
N4JTE try this site for Hamcall, he's listed here
http://hamcall.net/call?callsign=VA4SR

73 de AJ7G Randy
 
Ham Radio, Goodwill, and Friendship  
by JOHNZ on August 31, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
If you ever wondered about what the elites talk about inside university faculty lounges, this is one example. Unfortunately, little of this reflects the real world.
 
RE: Ham Radio, Goodwill, and Friendship  
by N4UM on August 31, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
To me goodwill is working to find the good in those you don't know while friendship is working to put up with the bad in those you do.
 
COMMON SENSE  
by WB9QEL on August 31, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
THIS IS C LARSON VA4SR



If you want to learn how to be genuinely good-willed, then you need be asking questions of others more than talking about yourself.

73 de VA4SR


________________________________----------------


THIS IS W9ZXT


Sir, before you post an article speaking more about yourself than others, you might think about asking questions more than talking about yourself.





 
RE: COMMON SENSE  
by K1PJR on September 1, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
I thought he explained the concepts objectively. He was not speaking about himself. He is just offering insight and food for thought. Listening is an art. I enjoyed his commentary.
 
RE: Ham Radio, Goodwill, and Friendship  
by KL7AJ on September 1, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
I've traveled a fair amount outside our country, and MOST folks I've encountered recognize that our national policy in no way reflects the average American.

"I like Americans, I hate their government," is a pretty universal refrain around the world.

Eric
 
GOODWILL  
by WB9QEL on September 1, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
THIS IS K1PJR:

I thought he explained the concepts objectively. He was not speaking about himself. He is just offering insight and food for thought. Listening is an art. I enjoyed his commentary.


________________________________________________


This is W9ZXT:

Ya know, I re-read the article and I was wrong in my thinking. Thanks K1PJR, you are right.

W9ZXT





 
RE: GOODWILL  
by K9MHZ on September 2, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
>>>>by N4UM on August 31, 2013 To me goodwill is working to find the good in those you don't know while friendship is working to put up with the bad in those you do.<<<<


Odd, but thought-provoking. I'd suggest that friendship is enjoying the goodwill between those you're closest to.

 
RE: Ham Radio, Goodwill, and Friendship  
by K7RNO on September 2, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
>>N4UM: ...goodwill is working to find the good in those you don't know while friendship is working to put up with the bad in those you do.<<

Deep! Do we know who wrote that first?
 
RE: Ham Radio, Goodwill, and Friendship  
by N4UM on September 3, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
I think it was me.
 
RE: Ham Radio, Goodwill, and Friendship  
by N4JTE on September 4, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Time for an all band dx buster 12 ft antenna article, hi
Bob
 
Ham Radio, Goodwill, and Friendship  
by K7NSW on September 5, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
I worked as a judge on a criminal court for over 32 years and still do so part time. I have met and had to deal with all kinds of people - ranging from terrifying truly dangerous murderous people to truly good honest people who simply received a minor traffic citation. I have also heard many years worth of civil litigation including very nasty divorce cases. I have seen people at their best and their worst. C. Larson "hit the nail right on the head". His advice is good. His article caused me to focus my insight and find ways I can be a better person. I don't care if he is a ham or not. Truth is the truth wherever you find it and from whomever you receive it. Thanks for a very valid and useful article C. Larson.
 
RE: Ham Radio, Goodwill, and Friendship  
by VE3XQQ on September 5, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Great article. Simply put and clearly explained.

Thanks
 
RE: Ham Radio, Goodwill, and Friendship  
by KB6QXM on September 5, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Ham Radio used to be about building friendships from not only my local area that I live in, but friendships world-wide. Many years ago and a few sun-spot cycles ago, I used to work DX, make friendships on the air and these hams would give me open invitations to stay at their homes if I was visiting their country. What a great way to see the world and see the country from an insiders view.

On the air now, are a bunch of paper-chasing DXCC fanatics and "radio sport" contest hams that will get upset if you strike up a conversation with a DX station. The give me a chance to chat with the DX station because I need the contact for my award crowd. The mindless "you are 5/9 QRZ" crowd.

The days of meeting people on the air and to learn about their culture and their way of life is over.

I blame this on a generational evolution and the ARRL trying to push whatever they can to get more members.(code elimination, theory reduction, Vanity calls, elimination of the 1-year non-renewal CW-only Crystal controlled 50-Watt Novice Class. The elimination of advanced class, the elimination of testing in front of a FCC examiner and having to send and receive code, draw schematics etc.) The ARRL pushes contests and other agenda to prop up their dwindling membership. Who can blame them with the average age of a ham being over 50.

I recently met a licensed ham who did not know what a repeater was or how to solder an RF connector onto his coax.

The dilution of the hobby and the building of friendships world-wide I blame on the paper chasing, DX pileups (almost CB radio mentality)hams that are starting to dominate the bands. This is progress in the advancement of the art of radio communications???

If some of the hams had patience and common courtesy to allow people to have a little rag chewing with the DX stations, then the bond of ham radio would be what it was many decades ago with people building long-term friendships world-wide.

Brave new world we live in now.

73
 
Ham Radio, Goodwill, and Friendship  
by KE4ZHN on September 6, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Sad to say this but finding a dx station to ragchew with is getting tougher and tougher. All they want to do is say the classic you're 5-9 see ya later bit. Its tough to promote goodwill and fellowship when none exists with hit and run contest style contacts.
 
RE: Ham Radio, Goodwill, and Friendship  
by JOHNZ on September 6, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
That bunch of northeast Yankees in Newington, Conn. lost all credibility decades ago. They started pushing an agenda that was based on quantity, versus quality, and in the process, they destroyed the hobby. Hiram Percy Maxim mist be spinning in his grave.
 
RE: Ham Radio, Goodwill, and Friendship  
by NU1O on September 6, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Talking about politics has probably been frowned on since the start of the hobby because of the arguments that are likely to occur.

I don't know what band and who you talk to but other than US hams talking politics, I have heard very few international QSOs were politics were discussed.

 
Not only on the air  
by DL4NO on September 7, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Quite often my customers expect me to work on site for several months. I use these opportunities to connect to the local ham communities. Our German club has more than 1,000 local chapters, see http://www.darc.de/ortsverbaende/.

Most of these chapters either use a known VHF FM channel or operate their own repeaters. They meet at least once a month. For many years I have felt welcome wherever I contacted these local communities. The key has always been: "Hi, I'm Alexander, DL4NO."

On this level contacts get more personal. I would never talk politics on HF.

For example a survey here in Germany before the last US presidential elections asked: "How would you vote, if you could?" The result: Obama 98%, Romney 2%. Or: In most of Europe everyone only wonders why you haven't had something better than "Obamacare" for at least 50 years.

In GB the NHS (National Health Service) is free and funded by taxes. Here in Germany some 90% can even change their health insurance without financial problems if they have a chronic disease. Sounds like paradise to some of you?


vy 73
Alexander
 
RE: Not only on the air  
by JOHNZ on September 7, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
@DL4NO
So Europe is socialist. We all know that already, so what is your point in spewing this irrelevant junk here?
 
RE: Not only on the air  
by DL4NO on September 7, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
> So Europe is socialist. We all know that already,
> so what is your point in spewing this irrelevant
> junk here?

Thank you for proving my point about "no politics on HF".
 
RE: Not only on the air  
by JOHNZ on September 7, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
@DL4NO
Your welcome, and I had no idea all the repeaters in Europe were socialist repeaters.
 
RE: Not only on the air  
by DL4NO on September 7, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
BTW: I have lived for decades next to socialist states - it was depressing. I went there. One third of today's Germany was ruined when we got reunited. We have rebuilt it - as our parents did after WW II.

For you "socialism" is nothing more than an empty four-letter word. I know what is was.

For me the most important thing is that you dream about owning a German-made car. I have worked for Mercedes-Benz :-)
 
RE: Not only on the air  
by JOHNZ on September 7, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
@DL4NO
I count nine letters in "socialism." How do you get four letters? Nine letters would make it a pretty full word.
 
RE: Not only on the air  
by KB6QXM on September 7, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Huh?

How did this thread start down the political road? I personally do not talk politics on the air, as many people may not see my point of view. Many leanings in my country do not want to hear your point of view unless it is their point of view. Our "freedom of speech" is a freedom if your speech does not cross any lines. Huh? Am I missing something here? So as much as I would like to talk about politics, people are so polarized, that good "old fashion" debate is a dead art. We live in a brave new world and I am glad to know that I will not have to see the world in the next 50 years, by then I will be too old to care.

This thread is about good will internationally. Talk about the roads in someone else's country, the food, the wine or the beer, the weather, the sites anything but politics. I just wish hams would do that instead of I am running this kind of rig or that kind of rig, I am running this kind of antenna or that kind of antenna, you are 5/9. Please QSL, QRZ. Why do I spend thousands of dollars for that?

The art is not what it was. We all should acknowledge that. The world is not what it was. If you don't like what is on the air, spin the dial or find another hobby.

Now let's get this thread back on International goodwill, we all need some of that.

73
 
RE: Not only on the air  
by DL4NO on September 8, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
"Politics" was introduced by NU1O as you will find above. My small experiment showed why we should not touch such topics on the air.

Ham radio has opened a small window that allows us to ignore our religious or political disagreements. We should not shut this window. We should learn that there are quite different ways of living that respect the basic human rights.

Disqualifying foreign views as "irrelvant junk" is a good starting point to recognize why so many people hate the USA - and one of the sources of the violence you suffer internally.


73,
Alexander
 
RE: Not only on the air  
by JOHNZ on September 8, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
@DL4NO
Nice try at making NU1O the "straw man" and shift responsibility to him.
 
RE: Not only on the air  
by DL4NO on September 8, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
I gladly accept responsibility for my successful experiment. Perhaps one of your countrymen can explain my experiment to you. You would not believe me anyway.
 
RE: Not only on the air  
by K1PJR on September 8, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
John
It's about goodwill and friendship and ham radio. Who cares about politics? I can read the Sunday Times for that. No one wins when discussing politics because there are no answers. It's all about compromise. So... how's the beer in Germany these days? :)
 
Franconian Beer  
by DL4NO on September 8, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
@K1PJR:

> So... how's the beer in Germany these days? :)

I'm happy to report that there is one spot where hardly anything has changed for at least 100 years: In Franconian Switzerland (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franconian_Switzerland) you still have perhaps the highest brewery density in the world. The owners of quite some of these mini and micro breweries still make their beer as they learned it from their ancestors.

Most of these beers are only available locally. The only exception is the Heller Brewery in Bamberg, see http://www.schlenkerla.de/indexe.html. They export to all over the world. But their "smoke beer" is a bit on the extreme side. You should drink at least two bottles before you decide you don't like it.

A less extreme smoke beer is "Gunzendorfer Schlueckla", http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/15682/35802. But - your guessed it - it is only available locally.

My personal favorite is http://www.kellerbier.de/. You definitely should try it if you come to Nuernberg or Bamberg.

In Nuernberg avoid the ever-present Tucher beer. That's the normal "thirst forces it in" factory stuff. I refuse to drink it.

BTW: In Nuernberg you can use the first FM repeater that operated in Germany - DF0ANN: You transmit on 145.150 MHz and receive on 145.750 MHz. Open the repeater with a 1750 Hz tone. If your handheld TRX has no generator for that: Learn at home to whistle a 1750 Hz tone :-)
 
RE: Franconian Beer  
by WB9QEL on September 8, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Your cookin with gas now Alexander. I have quite a few friends of mine that were stationed in your neck of the woods in the Military. Boy do they talk about how good the local beer was. The food, the people and goodwill and friendship are always mentioned too.

Thanks for the info, and I agree you have to try at least 2 beers before you decide you don't like it. Usually I order number 3 and miraculously I love it, go figure.

Drink one for me Alexander!!

Best 73 and God Bless.

Nick
W9ZXT
 
RE: Ham Radio, Goodwill, and Friendship  
by KD8HMB on September 19, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
A QSO with a DX country is my favorite aspect of this hobby, whether it is a short "Hi you're 59 - 73" or a longer conversation

I have had some enjoyable and lengthy exhanges with many European stations because many of them speak very good English. Although I speak German, I am not fluent in it anymore and prefer to speak in English with German-speaking hams.

That said, I am willing to accept that it may be a short "hello, you're 59, 73" because of the limited English vocabulary of the operator.

I mean, if you cant speak French or Italian or Russian, etc. with them in their own native tongue, what should you expect to talk about besides exchanging a signal report and 73?





 
Ham Radio, Goodwill, and Friendship  
by KK0DJ on September 25, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
very insightful and a piece worthy of contemplation... made me remember when Jesus was telling the disciples that the most important thing was to first love God and then to love your neighbor more than yourself. From each come goodwill, friendship and we use Hams use our radios to do it... I just wish I would have taken the time to learn three or four languages so that I could speak to DX in their mother tongues. Kinda sad everyone has to learn English... makes us a bit spoiled... (not complaining!) :-)
73
Dennis
KK0DJ
 
RE: Ham Radio, Goodwill, and Friendship  
by JOHNZ on October 1, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
@KK0DJ
Insightful? Worthy of contemplation? Hardly, but it might be good for a five minute discussion in a freshman philosophy class, taught by some liberal elitist professor at a university where they indoctrinate kids into socialism. As for your spiritual advice, you ought to go open a ministry in the general portion of 75 meters. That's a mission field with plenty of work for you.
 
RE: Not only on the air  
by N0NRO on October 21, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
To the ham from Germany (sorry, I forgot your call):

I totally agree with you. Of course, I live in what some people would call the People's Republic of Oregon, and I'm a bit liberal ;) (Actually, it's probably a bit more libertarian here than liberal.)

In relation to ham radio, I wish we could have discussions about topics like health care without it devolving into on-air WWIII. Let's have civil, thoughtful and insightful discussions on air.

I've been to Communist/Marxist countries too, in my case as a high school student to the former USSR in the summer of 1990 for a week and a half. It's nothing compared to what our European counterparts experienced in the Cold War; far from it, but I get it when you say you'd never want a "socialist" government.

This is all to say that throwing around epithets like Communist about a government program in a democracy does not help anything. It only splits us further, when we should be trying to find a middle way that works for the most people.

I think that we could promote conversations on HF again by having contests that require having an actual, short conversation. The only rule is that you do not have to agree, but you do need to be civil and if you can't do that, you have to drop out of the contest. The contact count will be a lot lower, but probably a lot more fulfilling.
 
Ham Radio, Goodwill, and Friendship  
by N0NRO on October 21, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Wow...didn't realize how old this thread is. Anyway, this is a good discussion to have.

Also, regarding my last comment, the second rule would be that you have to record some specifics of the conversation in order to claim the points. Or something like that. Hmmmm...this is getting interesting.
 
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