Sometimes it’s hard to express myself when it comes to issues that are affecting both Canada and the United States. I am proudly a citizen of both countries, I was born and raised in Canada but since my Mother remained an American citizen, I grew up with ideals of both nations. I find it hard to accept a monarch ruler and I have deep devotion to democratic system. The day I had to swear an allegiance to the Queen and her family in order to write parking tickets in my municipal community left a dirty taste in my mouth. To this day, I deeply regret having signed those papers. However, the day I went in to sign the paperwork for my US citizenship and had to swear an allegiance to America, I felt oddly proud to be a part of that.
Granted, I don’t always agree with what either of my governments are doing but I am proud to be part of both nations. Even in the light of the recent waves of racism and a political leader who doesn’t seem to understand how the world works, my heart aches for those living in the states. I love Canada for taking a stand against any form of hate speech. We value someone’s person protection over the right to free speech. Which is backwards to the states where they value the right to free speech over the protection of the individual. You would think that our parents and grandparents taught us that if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. Maybe we should all take that lesson to heart again.
This era we will in is totally unlike any era before us. Our access to information has never been more complete. Through the use of the internet, we can find out about anything happening in our world. We don’t need the mainstream media to tell us what’s happening, we can read and watch it on sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Reddit. Blogs offer us the ability to see the events from an individual’s point of view. I don’t envy our future historians who have to piece together the true using the millions of points of views that now exists on the subject. We are so overwhelmed with information that it is easy to get lost in what is true and what is fake.
Sometimes, I long for an age where we didn’t know what was going on. We had only our own individual needs to meet. I suppose, we can still do that but it’s hard when you see people suffering in other places. As humans, we like to seek ways to solves problems, so when we see a problem that we can’t solve by creating something, we don’t know what to do. There might come a time when the only thing we can do is give things up and make certain sacrifices. In regards to climate change and the use of fossil fuels, we might need to stop owning cars and start building trains again.
As a pagan living in this world of extremism, it’s hard for me to sympathize with the fundamentalist. Can you imagine if pagans united under a pantheon organized themselves to become extremists? Can you say return of the Vikings? Vikings were a proud people with rules, a written language, stories of the Gods, morals and values all their own. To die in battle was the highest honor. The rights of women and children defined by law but also the rules around slaves. They were not so unlike the Romans and Greeks in this regard. Can you say that our society is any more evolved than those? It’s only been 1700 years since the Romans became Christian. Did they really change? No, they kept doing the same thing only under a different God’s name.
When you get right down the bottom of it all, our society runs on the desire to own things. Whether it’s people, property, or possessions, we want things. For the most part, we let our media dictate what we want and keeps us distracted from our true purpose.
Can you say that you are truly satisfied with what you own?
Can you say that there isn’t something else that you want to make you more complete?
Are you filled with contentment?
If you said, “No,” to any of these questions, then you too are caught in the consumer trap. Sadly, we are all trapped in it. Our government needs us to be trapped in it so that they can continue to operate. There’s no easy way to stop it aside from stop buying “stuff”. That’s no easy task for sure. I actually started a group and page on Facebook called “Call of the Wild Pagan” dedicated to finding ways for pagans to start reclaiming some of those old practices of self sufficiency. The Facebook page shares articles about anything from hunting to making your own clothing and the group is setup for creating discussion and meet ups where people can try these things for themselves. One day, I would like to go so far as to help create traditions and ceremonies for these tasks like our ancestors did.
There are plenty of pagan sites out there like the ones I set up but I have found that many of them preach “White Pride” but not racism. Don’t kid yourself, white pride is racism. It’s the slogan used by many racist organizations such as the KKK and the neo-nazis. You don’t need white pride, you need cultural revitalization. You can be proud of your cultural heritage without falling into the trap of being associated with white supremacists. You can reclaim your heritage without needing to squash the beliefs of others and you can be better than other groups by opening your door to all who wish to learn about them. Just because you were excluded from a cultural event based on the color of your skin, does not mean that you need to do the same to others. You can be the better human, you can create a better world simply by not contributing to hate.