An interesting event happened on Stamp Bears the other day. One of our members opened up a thread in the Beginners Corner about Australia - starting a country collection from scratch. Normally one would consider this the type of post from someone just starting out in stamp collecting. In reality, however, this member has an extensive history collecting US stamps only!
Not only did this open my eyes to the fact that ANYONE can be a "beginner" but more importantly it helps me understand this hobby better. I know that statement seems a bit off, so let us explore this a little further.
In any hobby, life venture, or career interest is perpetuated by the desire to gain more. In some cases more physical material, more money, and often most important - more knowledge. For a person to take a risk into a new area of collecting is a huge step, and for someone with a great deal of familiarity in one area this step really brings that person back to the starting point in collecting.
In this great example the collector needs to learn not only about the country from a Philatelic view but also needs to understand the changes in currency, politics, and the social views of a nation not yet explored by the collector.
Now admittedly I am still considered by many (myself included) a beginner but this idea, that you can always be a beginner, is great in my eyes. Now I, as a beginner, can not only share my limited knowledge, but I can learn more by participating in the conversation as this member learns along the way. Who knows perhaps a question or topic will come up that I had not considered before and this would increase my knowledge by proxy..
Yet another reason I love being part of Stamp Bears, and participating in this wonderful adventure of stamp collecting!!!