I’m Tommy

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.”


2 thoughts on “I’m Tommy

  1. Obviously I see things differently, since I've posted twice on the subject of Pagan values. And while I understand (and to a large extent, share) your disdain for labels, I think it is helpful to articulate your values, even if you're only writing for yourself. Values and beliefs can be a chicken/egg thing – it's hard to tell which comes first. The more I think, study, and meditate, the more convinced I am that my beliefs flow out of my values.What are your core values, be they Pagan or secular or otherwise? I'd find that interesting reading…

  2. I'll have to give that some thought, John. My biggest concern comes from what I see is the inevitable stacking of values v. values in comparisons. But I will give it some serious thought over the next week-plus, especially since I won't be teaching in the classroom during that time.

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