Over the two festive weekends I had the opportunity to think a lot about our hobby and to worry about its future. All this thinking was triggered by a xmas gift. Not one I received but one I gave.
A couple of friends have had a baby, a cute little girl, a bit more than six months ago. I had the opportunity to share the xmas meal with them, and I decided to offer to the little girl (among other things) the book of the 2010 stamps issued by the French postal administration.
This is a book that contains a copy of all stamps issued during the year, together with a lot of information around the subject of the stamps. I don't know if the litle girl will be one day interested in stamps, but if she is, I am sure she will be happy to have the stamps issued on the year of her birth. A long time investment you see ;-) I was very interested by the reaction of the parents. They were very surprised by the huge number of stamps issued in the year. And they were also surprised because they had not seen any of these stamps before. It confirmed me the idea that, nowadays, the French post is issuing stamps that are known and used only by the philatelists. Then I thought: when is the last time you received a letter franked with a stamp (even a definitive one) and not coming from a philatelist? The answer frightened me!
Then I even thought that may be, in ten years from now, when this little girl is old enough to understand what a stamp is, then may be stamps will not exist anymore! It reminded me the time when a colleague from Romania looked extremely surprised when I explained to her that I needed her help to translate the legend of a stamp of ny collection: there are still people collecting stamps? Was the question she asked!
When you think about all this you start to worry about the future of stamps and the future of our hobby. Because this is not specific to France. You can read everywhere philatelists from all over world, complaining about the increasing number of stamp issues, the decreasing quality of these issues, the fact that they are more and more issued only for collectors, the fact that their postal administration do not encourage people using stamps on their mail, the fact that some postal clerks are destroying nice stamps by cancelling them with a pen... I'm sure it rings a bell in your head,
So as the start of a new year is also the opportunity to build a list of good resolutions I decided to build my list of philatelic good resolutions:
- I will not frank my mail with something else than a nice stamp, if possible engraved and recess-printed (I must admit that sometimes I used labels (ATM) instead of stamps… this will not happen anymore)
- I will do all I can to promote philately by participating actively to youth programs organized by the association I belong to
- I will sort out the mess at home among my stamps accumulated over the years in order to use them to trigger interests of other people on philately
- I will update this blog as often as possible (at least three times a week would be great, daily would be a dream)
- I will do whatever is possible to share my passion about stamps and I will show that I’m proud to be a stamp collector
This is a small stone in the big edifice, I know…