The Depreciation of Appreciation In Our Hobby
Hello again friends. I want to talk about something I think is really important in this blog. It’s kind of an abstract idea but stick with me here. Twenty years ago when I first started keeping reptiles, it was pure passion. It was pure appreciation for the animals and their behavior. We didn’t have social media, and the Internet was not what it is today. There has been a huge change in that time period, some good…some not so good. There has been a depreciation of appreciation for which hat matters most in this hobby, the animals themselves. I assume you all know what appreciation is, but allow me to define the other word. Depreciation is a “reduction in the value of an asset with the passage of time, due in particular to wear and tear”. The problem is many people think the asset here is the animals, but the true asset is appreciation in itself. That’s the asset that will allow you to be here long term and make a name for yourself. Appreciation is the asset that will make you strive for the absolute best care for your animals, which we know is really what matters most.
So, why is appreciation so important? Well like I stated above, it is literally the key. Twenty years ago and beyond people did not get into this hobby because they wanted either money, or to stroke their egos. We got into it because a strong appreciation and passion for the animals. Today, while there are many that still get into it for those exact same reasons, there are still to many that get into it for the other reasons. Don’t get me wrong, these folks don’t last long and are usually the ones you see disappear within a few years, but I still felt it falls under this topic and should be mentioned. Ego and greed are the very worse reasons to be in this hobby, and honestly those folks should not be welcomed. They are the ones that allow their husbandry to slip, and risk their animals health and well being…and that is not ok. However this wasn’t the main motivation for this blog.
What I really wanted to touch on, was at the more personal level how depreciation of appreciation is a factor. The longer you are in this hobby, the more likely you will experience this. The more animals you have during that period of time, also increases the effect. This is the thing that eventually can lead to burnouts. It happens. It’s human nature. Our appreciation takes some wear and tear over time and sometimes we take a break. Those of us with the passion for these animals though eventually find a way to shake off those demons and breath life back into our passion, remembering how much we appreciate them for the little things, the little behaviors or quirks. It sometimes gets easy to forget how much you enjoy those little things when you spend so much time doing the mundane chores to keep the animals clean, healthy, and happy. But if you take a little bit of time each week to just sit in your room with these animals, you will certainly find that appreciation spark back up.
I think my good friend Eric Burke of EB Morelia summed it up very well in his post recently upon his return from a trip to Australia. He talked about watching some skinks go about their normal natural behaviors and how interesting it was, but also noted that walking by those same animals in deli cups at a reptile show would hardly earn a glance from most people. This is exactly what I am talking about. That appreciation for these animals regardless of morph, or any other fancy selling gimmick, is every bit the key to long term success in this hobby. The folks that have this appreciation are the one who are authentic when they talk to other keepers and prospective buyers. They are the ones who have the best reputations because they always put the animals first, and have a true pure love for them. I wrote this blog not as a downer but more as a spark. I want to help you find that spark when things get dull for you. I want to remind you of that feeling in the early days of your keeping when you hurriedly flipped through pages of reptile books in awe at the different species and all the things that made you fall in love with them. My goal is to stop the depreciation right now, and rediscover your true pure passion for these incredible creatures. Because the truth is, not only will you benefit from that, but your animals will as well. So what are you waiting for? Go rediscover what fuels your appreciation for these animals. You never know, it might just change the direction you were headed with your collection. Enjoy guys.
Ps: I appreciate all of you who read these blogs and continue to support me!