I feel that Amateur Radio, as a tradition, as a hobby, as a technical pursuit, is at this moment in time poised upon a knife edge. Everything remains, nothing has yet been lost, but one small step further from the path of its historical pursuits and Amateur Radio as we know it will fall into oblivion. Not because of the machinations of Government or Corporate interests, not because of changes to the licensing structure or the introduction of new technologies, but simply because we are poised on the edge of forgetfulness - forgetfulness of what it means to be an Amateur Radio operator.
Whether we like it or not, gaining and holding an Amateur Radio license is a privilege, a privilege afforded us only through the continuance of a tradition which, if lost, if neglected, will negate any felt need to accord Amateur Band privileges to any person simply on the basis of an interest in radio communication.
Tradition is not an empty remnant of the past, it is a living condition, a process of continuance which in conjunction with the privilege of holding a license commands respect, and imposes duties upon those who would be part of the tradition. Neglect of responsibility, neglect of the duties that membership of the Amateur Radio tradition imposes can lead only to chaos and eventual dissolution of the status quo.