As the Pagan blogisphere explodes with intense debate, as my Occupy brothers and sisters plan actions, as conservatives attack the rights of women, I am engulfed by waves of temptation to act in righteous indignation.
The urge is strong to weigh into the debate brought on by events at Panthea Con this year. Having been there should I, write a post, offer my services as a mediator or attempt to bring a sense of compassion to this debate? I sit and wonder at how when so many are speaking, none are listening. These are issues I have strong opinions on.
If I dive headlong into the fray will my effort make a difference or will I just add another voice to the deafening crowd. Ultimately, while making a few cautious comments, mostly I have chosen to listen. In my silence I can hear the very real pain of many of those involved. In choosing to not be overwhelmed and focused on just this issue I have maintained my ability to view this as part of a broader debate on human dignity. There is a sense of pride that my community is grappling with this issue possibly years before it comes to the forefront of the American experience.
Many I know in the Occupy Movement have called on me to devote all my efforts to this important social activity. My belief in this cause is strong and I have participated in a number of actions. Yet if I give in to the dichotomy of “us vs. them” the 99% vs. the 1%, I wonder if I will loose perspective? Will I step away from my Pagan beliefs, be awash in social activism, loose my ability to see the Divine in all of humanity, to appreciate that the people that make up the 1% have children, families, struggles and a place in our human community? So I act in support when there is something I can contribute returning afterwards to a place of quiet connection to the blessed community in peace.
It seems I can not log on to my computer without being confronted with another story of some extremist who wants to control the choices and bodies of women in the name of their particular brand of “crazy theology”. It is infuriating to witness the accomplishments of decades of progress in women’s rights be thrown under the bus in the name of the Divine. Each day it is tempting to start up my RV and drive to these individuals’ work places and lead the outpouring of disgust at their hate speech. Instead I give my dollars, write some letters and stand with my sisters in defiance of this most disturbing of trends. If I were to take every action I envision in response, my family, my community and personal ability to find grounding would be at risk.
In exchange for takings only measured actions I have maintained my ability to appreciate my daily life, the divinity manifested all around me. Today I am a Pagan activist who stands for inclusion and can appreciate a stand of trees for its diversity. Today I am an Occupy activist who is still able to see the divine manifested in a corporate executive holding the hand of their small child. Today I am a women’s rights activist who still takes time to enjoy the divinity in my wonderful partner, family and community..
By not engaging all my energy in any single issue I maintain my ability to participate in the multiplicity of the human experience.