A few words on Community...


Your community are those people who you affect and those who in turn affect you. Some of these people you'll know more than others, and some you'll like more than others (and vice versa); but regardless...a community is a group of people who affect each other for better or for worse. I can not speak on behalf of the many Pagan paths that exist, only my own, although perhaps it will have similarities to others.

We are each responsible for our own actions. We can never blame another person for forcing us to act one way or another. In the end we choose each of our actions sometimes knowing and sometimes not knowing how it will affect ourselves and those around us. Our actions inevitably affect our community and in turn that community responds to us and knows us by those actions. If we act in a positive and constructive way, our community becomes positive and constructive, and we in turn enjoy such a community. If we act in a negative and hurtful way, our community becomes negative and hurtful, and we then suffer living in such a malicious community.

The people I care about most live, by definition, in my community. I love them, I care about them, I hurt when they hurt, and I beam with pride when I see them grow and prosper. Because of this I govern my actions as best I can, trying to act thoughtful about how my actions will impact those around me. Sometimes I choose an easy path that is wrong, sometimes I choose a hard path that is right, and sometimes...if I'm lucky...I get easy choices that are right. But when I make wrong choices, the responsibility is mine alone to repair the damage that I've caused and make apologies to those I've hurt. That's how I try to impact my community. In turn, I've forged friendships with people that will last through our lifetimes and have shared, truly shared, intimacy with those people; a love and trust that comes from knowing that we will each strive as best we can to share the good and bad times being there for each other. Not everyone has responded to or returned my kindnesses with the same, I can't control that...but those who have are my close community and friends.

I'd encourage folks to think a little about their actions and the type of community that they want to live in for themselves and the people that they care about. We will never like every single person that we run across, and we won't like every decision that a given person will make (even if we like that person...). How we act upon and respond to those people and their decisions is our personal responsibility alone; we will either solicit the best parts of their characters or bring out their worst...and that will build the community that we live in.