Russian stamps 10 kopecks imperforate, strip of five, largest multiple known. Ex Fabergé

Russian stamps 10 kopecks imperforate, strip of five, largest multiple known. Ex Fabergé

December 1, 2012

The Social & Educational Aspects of Philately

One of the great thing about philately is its social friendship component. Collecting stamps & postal history is a great way to meet new people sharing the same interest although, as we are all different, in various ways. Today with internet, fast communication has increased the network potential between philatelists. It is certainly a good thing in my opinion. I am always happy, when checking my emails, to have messages from around the world, and to learn a things or two (or more) about the American humour, the weather in London or the food in Russia.

Philately is also one of the very rare activities where social status doesn't mean so much in the first place. Firstly, when two collectors meet, their first thought is about stamp collecting, not about their jobs or their political inclinations (although, when becoming friends, they can eventually share those interests as well). I remember the story of a collector, of medium income class, astonished at the fact that during an international exhibition he became friend with a 'top class' collector who had 10 frames of the Penny Black. "Just imagine how much money you need to build such holding" was he thinking... and yet the two shared some nice discussions on the level of mutual respect and understanding.

Secondly, philately is a knowledge-based and fun hobby. It is a wrong conception, actually a serious mistake, to believe that you need 100.000$ to build a nice and powerful collection. With a minimum amount, provided that the subject is chosen wisely, any philatelist can build a splendid specialized collection for a few hundred bucks monthly. On the other hand, examples of very expensive holdings, poorly arranged and described, showing a lack of knowledge, research and dedication, are not unheard of. In other words, more than money (although it certainly helps), brain, patience and sensitivity are the pillars of our hobby.

Philatelists are usually well-educated people. Some of them very well educated. Others possess a great life experience. Because of the very matrix of our hobby, that is history and communication between various people and countries, a fascinating field of learning about history, geography, culture, techniques and psychology is opened.  

As a naive projection in the generally conflicting behaviour that characterizes human beings, I guess philately should be the hobby of many of our world leaders... Just imagine a political debate starting with 'how is your classical Ceylon going on?' and 'oh nice, and how is your Russian ship mail, dear opponent?'.

That would possibly make a positive change in the relationship, thus decision-makings, between rulers!

Maxime Citerne

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your comments are always welcome, as long as they are expressed in a polite manner.