It has been a trying couple of weeks for a lot of people. Make that a trying year, as the U.S. Elections have wrapped up. I do not want to take any political stand in this forum, but I want to make some commentary to put this in frame of mind when I look back. My candidate did not win. I was saddened, I am disheartened more by the folks who did not vote for whatever reason they chose, that may have caused the election to go a different way, and I am mostly saddened by the existing gulf in this country between those that are one one-side of a fence or another, and the growth of that gap.
I recently saw a hashtag, that like some others, feel should go viral. #pagansshouldknowbetter was used by a friend of mine, someone I respect within the pagan community. This resonates with me in that our community, our religion as a whole, has been persecuted and is such that we cannot speak a lot of what we view as pagans as holy within the light of day at work, school, etc. If anyone SHOULD know better, it is us. We should stand united in at the very least the compassion, the hope and the kindness we share with each other if not the political view.
I have seen many supposed leaders in my pagan community post, say and do things that are so far outside of what I consider human decency that it is off the radar of even pagan kindness. I have been privy to cyber bullying in the form of mocking and out and out threats. #pagansshouldknowbetter
It is only going to become more difficult for us as pagans to worship openly, as this coming administration has been outspoken again those who are not of the WASP majority. As this world has gotten much more difficult to live in openly with regard to religion, race, gender, sexual orientation, age and physical attributes, it is going to take a lot to come together to work through this. I do not have the answer; I have to look my kids in the face and tell them, “I do not know when it’s going to change”. But I believe it begins with hope. This is a quote from Walter Anderson:
“True hope dwells on the possible, even when life seems to be a plot written by someone who wants to see how much adversity we can overcome. True hope responds to the real world, to real life; it is an active effort”
Hope alone without action is dream. Dreams do nothing but make you feel good. Hope with action is success. We can hope for a better future. A lot of us are overwhelmed right now and have no clue what action to take. I always will say that getting in touch with the divine is the first step. Make sure your house is in order before you try to change the world, always start with your own “cup”; otherwise it is misguided hope and dreams.
Once you have your house in order, there are a lot of things you can still do to make this world better both politically and outside of that mess. First, register to vote and then read up on the issues within your own community first and vote to make change there. Come November 2018, you will have a voice on a national level as it will be the next chance to vote your conscience in the congressional and senate elections; this is big, as congress is where policy lives or dies.
Outside of the world politic you can visit the aged or infirm and let them know that people care. You can help some kids as a mentor in their school or sport. You can ALWAYS serve meals in your local food bank and rescue mission (I have NEVER been turned away). Knot a sweater and give it to someone. Cook a meal for a friend. CALL YOUR FAMILY.
I can go on, there are a million small ways we can make a difference in someone’s life and if enough of us work to better ourselves, better our neighbors – then this outpouring will roll like a tide across this country and it won’t matter who is president, we will finally be on the path that Star Trek has been promising me for the last thirty years.
In love and blessings. #pagansshouldknowbetter