29 August 2012

Supporting our Talented Members - Supporting Ourselves

The Pagan community can be very fickle at the best of time.  We pride ourselves on our individuality, yet ferociously guard our "secrets" (most of which have evolved from somewhere else to start with) from others.  We beat our chests when something wonderful happens to us, yet we are quick to condemn others for doing the same thing.  We can also work triedlessly away in the background, doing the Great Work that we feel called to do, without anyone else ever noticing.

Last night I attended a local Pagan gathering where the discussion focused around "Pagan talents".  Once it was realised that what we may classify to fall under this topic (ie, divination, craft making etc) are not actually  exclusively "Pagan", the discussion then centred around Pagans with talents and in particular the need to support such members within our community.  One obvious side-effect about supporting our talented members is that when we encourage them, there is a hope that they will share their talents with us, thus maybe even leading to the discovery of a talent lying within our own selves.

It is unfortunate that instead of encouraging, the community does tends to discourage.  Having been the victim to other people's issue with "Tall Poppy Syndrome" over the years, I would be lying to say that such treatment no longer effects me.  When good things happen, especially when it relates to something unexpected or something that you have worked hard to achieve, it is only natural to want to share such news with others.  However, when the response received back is anything but positive (that is if any response is actually received at all), after a while you begin to wonder why you are bothering at all.

Ah, yes, the failing of all humans ... our frail ego raises to our awareness that it needs external acknowledgement and validation that our talents are worthy.

An interesting comment was made last night that to me highlighted the immaturity within the Pagan community and that was the lack of support and encouragement to discover one's own talents.  In various other spiritual communities, a degree of time and effort is devoted to assist everyone to realise their own talents - newcomers and old timers alike, and in particular those who believe they possess none.  This adds to the underlying concept of a "community" as a whole, where each individual plays an active role in contributing towards the overall plan.

One possible downfall therefore for us Pagans is the very thing we pride our community upon - individualisation.  Whilst this may have many positives, there can be an equal number of negatives.

What is very clear is that within the Pagan community, we have many obviously talented members with a whole range of skills on offer, as well as an increasing number of members whose talents are not all that well acknowledged.

I am a firm believer that each of us has at least one talent tucked away that we may not be aware off that if encouraged, we can bring to our local community, enhancing both it and our own selves.  However, when the community as a whole, or even particular aspects of that community, do not or are not prepared to encourage the talents that all members can bring to it, we run the danger of losing such invaluable knowledge.

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