Apologies for the following it's some personal enlightenment, possibly not fully related to the SCA.
Since joining the SCA I have come to value people a lot more than I once did, Not only has it allowed me to realise that not everyone is a self-serving jackass, but I don't have to be one of them either.
Service has become one of my most enjoyable parts of events. (at my last event I told her ladyship Ginevra that she would need to duck tape me to a pole to stop me helping)
Which is strange now I look back on it, I am a heavy fighter (hitting people with stick is fun) and I love building things (I am enjoying learning to sew, I remade my entire soft kit this year without patterns) but serving others gives me something that I have never had before and I can't quite define it, it's beyond my sphere of experiences.
Service is more than just fulfilling a needed task, the duty to help others is how police or doctors must feel, coming to work each day, far more than just creating ad's (which is what I used to do)
I guess it's that being part of a greater whole you find talked about in period literature.
I have always had a Moral code, but it was undefined and lacking substance. The SCA given me focus purely unintentionally (although I do have a traditional Knight as my mentor) I follow this: The knightly virtues as best I can now, but it can be tough sometimes but I find worthwhile.
I have heard it mentioned that "well what do you expect he wants to become a knight of course he follows the code" I disagree, acting "knighty" has little to do which wanting to be a knight and can be pursued by people who have no wish to become knights and far more to do with wanting to be a better person.
I will most likely never be recognised as a Knight within the sca and that's ok. My fighting level isn't good enough and most likely won't be for the foreseeable future mostly due to my inability to travel enough and I have a tendency to speak my mind which I can't seem to shake, Truth or "my truth" and then telling the person to their face not behind their back has rubbed many people the wrong way and I apologise for this, but it also contravenes the virtues of justice (Temperance) and nobility (charity), not to mention my limited social skills, a knight needs to inspire which I do not.
So next time I stand in the lists and have the opportunity to speak as to why I fight I have written a little speech.
Your Majesties, your excellencies, peers and Nobles I have the dubious honor of being lord leonhart hunt, squire to Sir Philippe De Tournay. I fight this day in the name of the Lady Amalia Shriber, but my reasons for fighting is far simpler, I fight because of you, not for you as it would be presumptuous to claim such an honor, but because of you. We are part of the glorious dream known as the SCA and it takes each one of us to make this dream happen, each of us has a part to play and I am honored that this is my part. I think of us as parts of a greater whole, A machine where each one of us is a cog that makes it turn, some cogs are larger than other some smaller some gilded or wood, some whole or missing teeth but thought us all this machine, our dream... is made real. I fight and may I say we fight because you all make it possible to do so. /end
Know that I fight (and not just on the field) because of you all, you have inspired me to be better than I am who knows how far this will reach in the future.