Forum rules and philosophy revisited.

Discussion in 'Himalayan Imports' started by Bill Martino, Jul 5, 2004.

  1. Bill Martino

    Bill Martino

    Mar 5, 1999
    I am hesitant to make this post but I think it's necessary to reiterate the philosophy which sets the modus operandi of Himalayan Imports, BirGorkha and the HI forum. Seems it is time.

    When I sold our first khukuri in 1988 I did not do it with any hope of fame or fortune. I did it because I knew that the sale meant some kami in Nepal would be paid for work done. The first ad which sold this khukuri cost $135. The khukuri sold for $150. Another ad was placed, two khukuris were sold. Another ad in another magazine, and a couple more khukuris sold. Finally, ads in 3 or 4 magazines, sales generated from articles about our khukuris made Himalayan Imports a viable business. Advertising cost at that time was about 50% of gross sales.

    Then onto the internet and everything turned around and today we are able to provide for the welfare of perhaps 150 of Nepal's lowest caste and the poorest of the poor. Khukuris have done it and therefore they are related to almost everything in life -- eating rather than starving, having shelter rather than sleeping under a bridge, the basics needs of life, and an offer of hope for the future. And, I think very importantly, the effort is not charity but simply an opportunity. Remember, under and unemployment combined in Nepal is near 80%. Having an honest job is a blessing in such an environment and this is what we do. We provide work and opportunity.

    So, the driving force behind Himalayan Imports and BirGorkha is dharma, duty, an effort to make the lives of some of the less fortunate somewhat more tolerable. Fame, fortune, profit, the normal motivations which drive most businesses do not drive us. Seeing that a family has enough to eat is more important than making a profit. I see Yangdu sell knives at cost on a regular basis when we have a decent inventory -- this to keep the kamis working.

    When our village sarki recently sliced a foot long gash in his thigh we took him to the hospital, got him fixed up, and paid him his "workmans' comp" for a couple of weeks until he was able to return to duty. This is standard practice for BirGorkha. Our social services fund could easily be turned to profit but we don't do it. Dharma comes first. The Dharma path is the one that I have chosen in this life and Pala, Yangdu, Pradeep, all associated with HI and BirGorkha honor my decision and participate gladly.

    When I was asked to moderate a forum on Knife Forums I agreed and said I would have only these basic rules -- no profanity, no personal attacks, no badmouthing of competitors products. Anything else was fair game. We started over on the old knife forums and our forum soon became the most popular on that site. I think the reason for this was we were an oddity. I followed my own rule of "do unto others as you would have them do unto you," and this seemed to attract people. And I was younger and stronger then and could give a good deal of time to moderating very "iffy" discussions. I don't think I ever deleted a post, almost never edited a post, and never banned anybody although at times I was sorely tempted to do so. I used my Buddhist philosophy to good advantage and we waded through some very difficult discussions.

    Then I was asked to moderate this forum on Blade Forums and agreed. Same philosophy as the Knife Forums HI forum. As you can see the forum has been and is still pretty popular. Because of my very firm belief in free speech and expression I allowed some posts which most would have banned. There were trying times when politics, religion, customs, entered into the discussion, especially if driven by zealots and fanatics and we had a few. But we survived and the forum became a place where anybody could say just about anything and it remains that way today to a high degree.

    Along the way Rusty and I became good friends and visited personally. Rusty became pals with Pala and Yangdu. As he came to know me he began to understand what I was trying to do with both HI and the forum so when it became necessary due to health problems to get help in moderating Rusty was a natural. I am indebted to Rusty and grateful beyong description for the great effort and fine job he has done.

    I wanted the forum to be not just a place to discuss khukuris and blades in general but a place where somebody in trouble could come, state his trouble and ask for help in the form of prayer or even money. I wanted it to be a place where help and advice could be solicited. I wanted it to be a place where ideas, philosophies, could be discussed. However, I wanted it to be a place motivated by the first rule, "Love God and love thy neighbor as thyself." I never wanted to see hate or loathing as part of the discussion or posts made simply to stir up contentions and discontent.

    And here is the secret to making a decent, meaningful post: No matter what subject you might be posting about if you do so with the basic rules in mind, "Love God and love thy neighbor as thyself" and "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" you'll end up with a good, meaningful post that will probably be of some kind of benefit to all. Check your motives before making your post. As my old guru used to advise me, "if you can't do it with love don't do it at all."

    If we follow the rules this can be a fine and worthwhile place so let's all give it the old college try.
  2. Aardvark

    Aardvark Basic Member Basic Member

    Nov 26, 2002
    I'm printing that out, and posting it on my cubicle wall. Can't thank you enough, Bill.
  3. Semper Fi

    Semper Fi

    Feb 23, 2002
    Uncle Bill

    Thanks for the post and the clarification. Helps bring things back into perspective for all of us.

  4. BruiseLeee


    Sep 7, 2001
    Excellent post, and thanks. :)
  5. raghorn


    Feb 23, 2002
    This one deserves a "sticky." :)
  6. gravertom


    Jun 4, 2004
    I agree wholeheartedly.
    Glad to be able, in a small way, to support a company that helps people who really need it.

    I am sorry if anything I have said has appeared to be over the line.I certainly did not intend for it to be so.

    Thanks again Bill, and all of you.

  7. Ferrous Wheel

    Ferrous Wheel

    May 16, 2002

  8. Svashtar

    Svashtar Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 28, 2003
    Thanks for expanding upon the ideas behind this forum so well Uncle Bill. I think I've picked most of this up here and there, but it's good to have it restated. This is really a special place, and needs to be protected, but not to the extent of violating the very principles of tolerance and kinship that are behind it.

    This is why I hope we will continue to always give even the most obnoxious forumite or web troll every chance before they are banned, if the moderator ultimately decides that such action is necessary to protect the list.

    Thanks again.

  9. munk


    Mar 22, 2002
    I like excitment, and sometimes have been at the heart of controversy. To a large measure, that is part of my karma. The balance to this for me has always been similar to the adage for ethical counseling- if you break the client down, make sure he's built back up again before leaving your office. With this spirit, I try and offer my own faults and achilles heels so that all see there is an equal field, with no loser or winner- unless we are all winners in the process.

    For my small part, I'll keep Bill's philosophy in mind. Truth is, it fits my own rather well, as it does most here.

    Things were easier when Bill posted more often. We are just going to have to fill in his absence with a little more heart of our own.

  10. Bruce of 1

    Bruce of 1

    Apr 16, 2004
    With all that said, I'm just glad there isn't a line to get into this place.
  11. clearblue


    Oct 22, 2002
    Yep! sounds like a good plan to me.
  12. Nasty

    Nasty Chief Cook & Bottle Wash

    Nov 11, 2003
    Hey! They made *me* wait in line! Okay I know and the joke's over.

    At least I'm lucky that they only charged me the usual $5 to each of them for admission...
  13. Mark Nelson

    Mark Nelson

    Feb 21, 2003
    Well said Uncle Bill and many thanks.
  14. mamav


    Apr 23, 2003
    Thanks Uncle. A very timely and needed counsel from our biggest hero.
  15. Rusty

    Rusty Moderator Moderator

    Mar 8, 1999
    I try, surely fall short, and then continue trying. Repeat as necessary.
  16. empty5853

    empty5853 Gold Member Gold Member

    May 19, 2004
    Amen to all of the sentiments said. I couldn't add anything else of value.

    I'm relatively new here and I try to read and learn from you all before I open up my big mouth and stick my foot in it. You all seem like a great bunch of people and I really enjoy the posts here.

    Mark T.
  17. Bri in Chi

    Bri in Chi

    May 28, 2003
    This forum reminds me of what the early days of the Internet were all about. Sharing, caring, camaraderie and a big load of humor. Thanks to you, Uncle Bill, Rust and Dan, for keeping everything everything around here totally cantina. There, now it's an adjective. :rolleyes:
  18. arty


    Oct 18, 2003
    The world would be a better place if more people adopted Bill's philosphy.
  19. etp777


    Aug 12, 2002
    Just happy to be here. THank you Bill for starting this,a nd eveyrone else for keeping it going and keeping it what it is. Cheers.
  20. china


    Feb 25, 2002
    Simple but true.
    Maybe there is a better darma if your try.
    Best of luck, and wishes for all who contrubute. :)

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