With much discourse occurring in the community about ageism, Elders and young Pagan Leaders conversations can be divisive. It is important to consider that our Elders are the first generation manifesting an “Elder ethic” in our community. As a group they are expected to know when to transition to the status of “Wise Elder” and leave community leadership to a younger generation.
These highly respected individuals are blazing a new trail, as the first generation to face these issues, en-mass; there are no reference points for them to follow in achieving these transitions. They are protective of the organizations they have built and concerned that new Pagan leaders do not have the institutional background to fully embrace what is needed to insure the survival of what has been manifested by their generation.
Complicating matters is a new generation of what can be seen as ‘Generational Pagans, raised on the very ethics these Elders established, this generation is on fire. New leaders are well educated and burning with a desire to manifest changes that will allow our community to embrace change in a way that make sure the community thrives well into the future.
Instead of establishing a dialectic, lets support our Elders and New Leaders in their struggle to transition leadership in our community. Respect Elders for their wisdom and at the same time expect that they will engage in a succession planning process that ensures that emerging leaders are allowed to drive discourse in our community towards advancements in tolerance, compassion and social changes that will benefit all of us.
If I say pro youth and you hear anti elder, examine your reaction!
If I express support for Elders and you see it as resistance to change, examine your reaction!
All generations have so much to offer; instead of a struggle for the heart of Pagondom, lets manifest a future together in mutual respect!