…or, “See? We’re Just Like You!
We’re having another round of ‘leadership’ in our local Pagan community, and, as anyone who’s been involved in such activities will be aware, it’s attracting all kinds of strange notions. A local person, not really a ‘leader’ per se because she doesn’t actually represent any tradition other than the MeetUpians, wants to show us all how to grow, change and unify. She assembled some of the tradition leaders for a brainstorming activity recently, and about organizing us.
One of first activities at this conclave was around the room, introduce yourself and your tradition, and say why you were here. Many of us weren’t really sure what to say that last bit, but some people had some rather earnest ideas, if not very practical ones. One man said he wanted the group to start planning a Pagan eldercare facility. Another said she wanted to together the creates Pagan school for K-12. One person even suggested holding community rituals, asking, “Why don’t we all come together…we all worship the same Gods!” No, we don’t, and we don’t all worship the same Gods the same way or within the same belief structure, but that’s another for another time.
What struck me as everyone spoke, in turn was many of suggestions weren’t just impractical – were outright questionable as goals go. When pressed for details on eldercare and school ideas, then reasoning behind both was same thing: other faiths do it. These Catholic church has schools and nursing facilities, these Presbyterians – even have hospitals and homeless shelters. Some even have banks! Of they have them, why don’t we?
I think we’re asking the wrong question here. Instead of “why don’t we have [facility]?”, a better question would be, “It genuine need for [facility], and consequently should the Pagan faiths be the ones to fulfill that need?” My answer is a clear “no” in both cases. Sure, Pagans age and many of us will be heading for eldercare at some point in the future. Does it have to be a Pagan facility?
I think my concern would be whether or not was *quality* facility rather, than whether was run by Pagans. No, I don’t want to end up in Catholic facility where my faith won’t be respected, but, than again, Paganism isn’t single faith with of universal beliefs, either. Will there be Gardnerian eldercare facilities? Will they take in Alexandrians? or Druids?
I want to someone will changing my IV, feeding me, and keeping my room clean. Sure, dream big, but plant you feet on Mother Earth and work toward goals make senses.