Monday, 6 June 2011

Understanding from hate?

Some blogs I follow are currently taking part in a blog contest over at Circle of Moms and it's brought up some interesting insights for me.  There has been some hatefilled blog posts from participants as well as some amazing attempts at understanding.  Yes, it has become very extreme for some - including some death threats from what I have heard - but thing this is, it's actually creating a discourse.  Those who are being extreme are being seen as such and it appears that some bloggers are trying even harder to understand as a result.  There has been open admiration for the spirit of community that Pagans are showing each other and this is something to be celebrated.

Granted, it hasnt been a good ride and I suspect that jealousy has a lot to do with the viciousness (given that the current winner is a Pagan) but at the end of the day the Pagans are coming out as the 'better people'.  By coming together to support each other and refusing to take part in the mud-slinging Pagans are really demonstrating their faith.  The belief in community and spiritual strength being shown really does show Paganism in life and in blogging.

To me, Paganism is about a sense of community and living your life as honourably as possible.  By honourable, I mean treating other respectfully and working to maintain a harmony with the world around me.  That does include standing up for myself as needed but doing so in an understanding way and in a way that helps others to understand my position.  It is my personal belief that understanding comes through being willing to listen to others and being able to accept differences between people.

This competition has created some heated discussion but, at the end of the day, it has created discussion.  When the contest is over what will people remember?  The defamation or the strength of the Pagan community?  How many people that would never have looked at Paganism will have taken the time to look at the blogs in the contest and possibly even reached an understanding of it?  Maybe I'm just a happy optimist but I can't help but see the positives that may come out of all this.  This is not to ignore the strength of feeling of some of the bloggers but to try and see that even in their hatred they are forced to look at their own strengths and weaknesses and maybe gain a better understanding of themselves.

And, to this Pagan, there is no better outcome than a greater understanding of who you are and how you relate to your faith.


Melissa Wheeler said...

As one of the participants, it has been an amazing experience being able to observe the growth of community and coming together to protect each other. And I am regularly gaining new friends that I probably wouldn't have met otherwise, that have some great ideas and encouragement.

It's been a difficult thing to keep my tongue in check over some of the things that have been said over all of this, but I just have to remember that in speaking publicly, I'm a representative of a community that needs to be seen in a positive light. I've had to take a step back and look at where the other side are coming from, and just hope that one day they will stop to look at their own actions and how they have hurt others.

Sgnr.Perceval said...

I haven't followed the blogs or the contest you're talking about, but the scenario sounds all too familiar from many other places and situations I've witnessed. And yes, it's always struck me that those who like to see the world as a bad place and people as basically bad/evil, well it seems to me they're just judging the world by their own standards... I've seen time and time again that hate filled minorities have been seen for what they are and have failed to convert the majority, however hard they've stamped their feet!