Numbers don’t lie.
As someone who works with statistics on a daily basis, I hear this line of reasoning nearly every day. In fact, it was uttered during my interview for the job. And I retorted with:
Numbers do not lie, that is correct. But if you are relying on the numbers to tell the entire narrative of what is taking place, you are stepping into very dangerous and foolish territory. Dangerous because decision-making based on only part of the necessary information can often be a fatal misstep. Foolish because the rest of the information that supplies the rest of the narrative is fairly easy to get.
It was a statement that unofficially got me the job.
But it was not just a retort to a statement that I find to be as useful as many of the memes that permeate the bandwidth of the internet today. It was a statement of what I believe, and how I perceive the world around me. Through connections. Statistics can showcase trends. Learning the stories of the people who make up those numbers allows you to put the narrative into perspective. That’s providing the connectivity between two points. And that single strand of connectivity can make all the difference in decision-making. Look at all facets before deciding on a direction.
Druidry taught me that.
There’s connectivity between the state of our planet and the damage that we – human beings – have done during our phases of industrialization. Its only very recent in our collective histories that we have realized that as we damage our environment, we damage our ability to continue as species far into the future. We are a part of the ecosystem that makes up the Earth, and when we tip the balance into our favor in ways that are destructive, we harm ourselves in the longer aspects. We essentially kill that ecosystem that we are a part of. That particular connectivity is something we combat every day with climate-change deniers. We cannot change their minds by continually beating them over the heads. We have to work with them, find ways to effectively communicate and be patient in the process. They are a part of this too – and they are going to be needed in making changes and helping to find balance. Inclusion.
Druidry taught me that.
Everything has a certain “look” about it. An exterior quality all its own. In some cases, the exterior presence can be considered exquisitely beautiful by any that behold it. In other cases, the essence of “beauty” depends on the individual observing. In all cases, there is always more to the way something looks or feels. In individuals there are emotions, intelligence, wit, wisdom, personality and more qualities that cannot be seen on the outside – which have to be experienced through interaction – which can add to the element of “beauty”. There is beauty in everything, and sometimes you have to look beyond the surface to find that which is appealing or striking to you.
Druidry taught me that. So did the experience of Life itself.
To be honest, I am not sure where a particular set of personal ethics sits within all of this. I have a developed sense of moral character, which has been shaped by my daily experiences. I am capable of extending trust immediately to some people based on my own perceptions. I can also withhold trust where my perceptions perceive ill. Sometimes, my instincts may prove to be wrong, and I will need to examine and develop my instincts of providing and withholding trust based upon that. So I am constantly developing and changing as my environment changes around me. To be perfectly frank, I have not been aware of this particular aspect of who I am until recently – within the last twelve years to be precise.
Druidry continues to teach me that.
So, when I hear people laugh when I tell them that I am a Druid who believes in the real manifestation of Gods and Goddesses, Spirits of Place, and my Spirits of Ancestral lineage – I utilize this exercise to remind me. Druidry has taught me more about myself than I could fathom. And every day, I continue to learn more and more about myself, and the world around me. And the laughter and cynical statements from others ring hollow to my ears. I know the Path I am on. I know why I am on this particular Path. And I know its the right one for me.
….and yes, Druidry taught me that. As did Life’s experiences. And my meditations. I know me. And I am well aware of the statistics that bring me to this point. As well as the story behind my Path. And every single day adds another life lesson. After all, the numbers don’t lie. Nor do my footsteps on my Path. /|\