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A Call for Personal Responsibility
Acct. ID: 209739
Notice ID: 252
Posted: February 18th., 2004
This Notice has been viewed 1993 times
Proclaimed by: Chris
Proclaimed from: Fairborn, North Carolina
In my experience with the Pagan community, I've encountered countless online groups (and subscribed to most of them) . Its so easy with a click of a few buttons you're connected to the entire Pagan world... but are you really connected? Its easy for many of us to haunt these groups, check our email when we get home, read the posts that apply to us, maybe even respond a few times if the topic perks our interest. Sure, the internet is a valuable resource, its helped hundreds upon hundreds of Pagans connect, and can give valuable information on herbs, spells, and local covens in the click of a button. The internet can bring a variety of Pagan tools and jewelry into our lives, and can help Pagans in rural areas connect with the global community. However, in this world of online covens and mailgroups, we sometimes seem to forget our local connections, and for many local Pagan stores and groups, its hard to keep going without the support of time and energy by people within the community.
I will not bring up financial issues in this as it is not my ideal to turn covens into places where people feel obligated to tithe. However, I will bring up the issue of the time and effort people put into their community. No, I don't expect someone who has two jobs trying to support her kids to spend her free time helping the community if she has no time for herself, but I've seen many who do spend that time working to build groups and make connections locally. The point I make here is a call for personal responsibility within the community.
I've heard numerous Pagans complaining about how none of their local groups are meeting anymore, that there used to be Pagan Nights Out or that there used to be learning circles, but now they're gone. In looking for the answers as to why, I've come across a disturbing trend... most of the groups are founded by one person who does almost all of the organizing of the meetings, who contacts everyone to meet, and on occasion who usually hosts these events at their own house. In looking at the records of these meetings, the responsibility never changed. These few people were in charge of everything while still maintaining their own busy personal and work lives outside the Pagan community (often leading to burnout which lead them to give up the responsibility, therefore causing the group to dissolve) .
The reason why these groups fail is because people within the groups take them foregranted. There is no personal feeling of responsibility as to the success of the group, and sure, they may go to the potlucks and bring a dish, bdon'tnÕt ever think of the time and work it takes to organize all those events. Keeping a group going takes a lot of work, and effort from everyone involved. Supporting your Pagan community doesnÕt mean just money, it means taking a little amount of time to make sure that the people who are running these events have help. Its been suggested on some email groups that people just take turns suggesting a place to meet (like a local coffee shop, or restaurant) and everyone will just meet there. The problem with this suggestion is that not everyone can afford to go out to eat, and that often if someone just suggests a place, there is no telling how many people will be there, how to id the Pagans when you get to the place, or whether or not anyone will show up at all.
In more close-knit groups there seems to be an answer for this problem with having a scheduled rotation of who is hosting each monthly/weekly event and sending out reminders to each ÒhostÓ in advance to remind them of their duties. This can be effective in larger groups, but is much harder when in online groups when attempting to meet (before you get Ôthe regularsÕ who show up for face to face events) . don'tnÕt have all the answers, and sometimes all the work will inevitably fall on one person, but that doesnÕt have to be the norm.
Ultimately the responsibility falls in each person who values having other Pagans as friends, who values seeing these people in a group setting, and those who see the value of keeping local groups together for the ultimate success of the larger Pagan community. This is my call for action and personal responsibility. Give your time so that we can grow and have local friends as well as those far away on the internet. We as Pagans take pride in our responsibility for our own actions, we now need to take responsibility for our own communities, large or small.
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