I got an email recently about this being “Pagan values” month or something like that. The email went along the lines of seeking Pagan bloggers and podcasters to blog/podcast about their own values. That’s a very valiant effort, in my opinion. And I’m sure there will be several Pagan bloggers and podcasters that will take up that gauntlet. I, however, won’t be one of them.
While its a noble effort in my eyes, its not something that I really choose to focus on. I know what my values are – after all, they’re mine. While I do share a lot of commonality on some things with other folks – there are other areas where differences are going to be encountered. There should be – we’re individuals, not templates. However, its those differences that will typically be focused on. What makes someone different than someone else. In many ways, it brings out a perspective of definition where differences are emphasized and commonalities are glossed over. After all, finding differences between two comparative objects is far easier to accomplish than locating common factors.
A few blog posts back, I mentioned how reticent I am to attempt to define a wide-ranging concept such as “Paganism”. I’m just as reticent to stack values against values – which comes across in a similar vein of defining for me. I understand how both aspects – value-comparison and defining – has appeal for some individuals. And as I had said previously, I don’t see anything wrong in that for those folks. It just doesn’t work for me.
I’ve had many conversations with people about who I am and what I believe. And I’ve had many, many labels affixed to me from those conversations. I’m a Pagan, because that’s what comes closest to my beliefs. I’m a Druid because that is the Path I choose to walk. I’m a Universalist because that is one of my core understandings of the world around me. However, in the end – I can only be defined by one statement: “I’m Tommy.”