This is something that truly both befuddles me and disturbs me. And I know it's not just my own opinion because time and again, the same complaints keep coming up. Sadly, as our numbers grown larger, it seems to be becoming an even bigger problem.
For the most part, as rooted in our voiced common values, we are a faith who prizes community, on coming together based on shared beliefs in the spirit of friendship. Yet, that's not what is often seen. We still seem to be at the stage of voicing that as a value, but we've yet to walk that.
Now, I'm not saying that this isn't happening in our everyday lives, within our individual family units and circles of friends, it just that when it comes to being a larger faith based community, to being a Pagan Community, we really suck at being there, not just for each other, but in being there at all.
Many of us long for others of like mind and practice to meet with, talk with, maybe even Circle with, but when the opportunity is there, nothing happens. How many groups form only to have no one show up to their public events?How many people have attended a public event only to leave feeling slighted and unwelcome by the group leaders? (I blame some of the latter on the "cult-of-the-ego" plague still running amuck in our numbers...) And, how many of us are only willing to show up if the event is free or if we get something out of it, like a public Ritual and meal afterwards, but wouldn't even consider showing up to a sponsored charity event or volunteer event?
Yes, we have great intentions and we're very sincere and loving people, and yes, we have great reasons why we can't help, but doesn't being part of a Community mean inconveniencing ourselves for the sake of others? Doesn't it mean that sometimes we go that extra step, knowing full well we could get burned for it, but that we do it anyway?
I'm not one for sweeping generalizations (one of my pet peeves) but I think it's time we all took a step out of comfort zones, analyzed our values and what we truly hold dear, and then make steps toward actualizing those values in our own lives.
Time to walk our talk.
Throwing the Bones