I grew up around friends who love to “pimp their rides”. I constantly see how “evolution” after “evolution” their cars go through. Some are moderate and yet practical in their approach. Some have gone so obsessed to a point of no return. And some are pretty funny to look at. They started off slowly modifying their rides and it builds up gradually. Eventually the car become so hideous, they have to sell it off just to get a totally normal car and not modify it EVER again.
I guess that is how our lives are most of the time. We are so caught up with “reinventing” ourselves due to the media “brainwashing” that we need to change fast. Even the scenes flip faster on Television which has been said to cause attention problems in children.
If we take a step back and analyse what is the problem here, there is a strong word that would appear – “AFFIRMATION”. It is due to the peer pressure and wanting to fit in that we keep on evolving. Latest gadget, the coolest “IN” thing at the moment, GO GET IT ON CREDIT. Everyone have it, so must you!
Well, what has that got to do with rabbits?
I have been observing for a while now and came to the conclusion that it is all based on OPINIONS. Whatever “show” world you are involved with be it Cats, Dogs or even Rabbits, it is all about one’s opinion. We place our trust in another person’s hands to tell us what he/she thinks of an animal of our product. Please don’t get me wrong, I am not suggesting what is right or wrong but simply sharing my opinion through my observation.
Most would agree that preferences and liking certain styles in things do influence our decision making. So that brings me to the gist of what I wanted to write about today. The competition in the show world makes us chase after dreams. Makes us want to keep up with the trend. I cannot help but to ask myself the question of who or what goes through a real evolution here. It is never the breeder because he/she is not polymorphic but what he/she touches can. Let’s take rabbits for example, they evolve as the competition gets stiff. And towards which direction may I ask? Yes, the one Standard Of Perfection laid down.
But you see, though there is only one Standard to adhere to, there are many opinions and interpretations. Just like a certain religion having one scripture but many teachings and beliefs. And given a little more time to talk about it, it will never end (the talk).
What holds us to our hobby then? What is the real substance that makes us hold strongly to our hobby?
I can see clearly now that another person’s opinions are unimportant. Not all human make the best decisions all the time. I believe we really need to take the winning element out of the equation of our hobby. It really is a fluke shot to hope for someone out of the thousands to have the exact same opinion or thoughts as us.
The reason why I am writing this is not to put anyone down but just as a reminder to myself of what really matters in this hobby for me. If it makes any sense (in a funny way at least), I would like to share my observation. It may have been mentioned by some breeders before but looking from afar, I noticed that winnings are now based on location and areas. Just like the “rap game” in the 1990’s Hip Hop music was so divided into the East and West side and we all know how the rest of the story goes.
When I look at the Rabbit Show world in USA, and since USA is such a huge country, rabbits are divided in such a vast area. Every state have their own judges and sometimes judges are hired to judge in different areas or states. A well traveled judge is very familiar with the different styles of rabbits bred in each area/state because they tend to see, touch and feel more of these animals. That being said,I feel that judges form their opinions and preferences on each breed of rabbit differently from what they experience most. No doubt there is one single Standard Of Perfection but every judge may form their own interpretation against the standards.
Some show breeders may feel that rabbits from the West of USA may not do as well when they head down to the East to be judged under the Eastern judges and vice versa. To a certain degree I do agree based on my observation. Again, it is all opinions and it would only be frustrating if we depends so much on these opinions.
To me, I like to think that winning is not really a big deal until you make a big deal out of it. If you start taking winning too seriously, you will soon find yourself obsessed and your hobby would evolve. One good tip that I can give based on my observation is to keep a few sets of show rabbits. Split your herd into East Rabbits and West Rabbits. When you know of a western judge coming to judge in the next show, enter your west rabbits and vice versa. That will definitely increase your chance of placing well. That’s a silly idea (LOL)!!!
So what will happen if winning is impossible or when it stops? Just break the hobby into its nucleus or molecular level. It all starts where all our rabbits are – our very own home. Satisfaction is the keyword here. As long as we are satisfied with our own progress, who cares? It is not back in school that we are comparing who has the nicest and coolest Transformers toy.
To date, I am glad I have a handful of bunny friends that shares the same idea with me – our rabbits are the best in our eyes. That should be the way to go. Having faith in your own rabbits are important besides they are of your own breeding. The Rabbit Show fever really should start from the comfort of your own home. To be honest, I am pretty shock that a fellow breeder who has just started out in this hobby has overtaken me in the department of admiring one’s own rabbits. It is quite a provocative thought that although new, they have such matured thinking about the hobby. It is very true that “you are who you hang out with”. I really find myself depending on their wisdom as not to be caught up with the “wins” and the “lose” as winning and losing really comes from the heart.
And with all that said, the word “evolution” only means “to change for betterment”. I realized that at times, I get too caught up with the “reinvention” and “change” that I miss what matters most. With all that has happened for the past few months, I really have come to realize what really matters most and I stopped myself from evolving or at least slow down on the evolving process.
But then again, there are times that some things just have to evolve and to change for betterment. Let’s see what that shall be in the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned….