Thoughts On Personal Responsibility

Did you ever look around you at the things wrong with this world and wonder, "Who's responsible for this mess?" Who's responsible for the pollution of our environment? Who's responsible for AIDS? Who's responsible for the violence of our society? Who's responsible for the unfair treatment of people of different colors, religions, and sexual preferences?

It's real easy to place blame on some distant and amorphous entity. "It's the Christians and their fundie attitudes". "It's the Government's fault." And its even easy to blame the victim themselves. "If they weren't lazy, they wouldn't be poor". "If he weren't gay, he wouldn't have AIDS."

We call ourselves Witches, and we are proud to claim that title. But what exactly does that mean? Are we just Saturday-go-to-Sabbat Wiccans, or are we truly devoted to this spiritual path? Being truly Wiccan demands that we see the God/dess in every human being, not just our friends or those who think like us. Being Wiccan means that we believe that the God/dess is immanent in this World and all of its myriad creatures. We have a responsibility to care for this wonderful creation we call Mother Earth, and all the creatures that walk, crawl, or swim thereon. We may not have caused the mess the world is in, but we are response/able because we are able to make a response.

That is what being Wiccan is all about. Making the responses we are able to make, no matter whether we were responsible or not.

We clamor about the pollution of our world. Ask yourself what are you personally doing about it. Do you recycle? Do you support companies with a Green policy? Do you litter? Where did that last cigarette butt go? Do you support conservation efforts? What are you doing today to help clean up the room that Mom gave us? You are response/able.

We complain about poverty and the plight of the homeless. Have you volunteered to assist in a local soup kitchen? Have you contributed to food or clothing drives? Have you written to your local government demanding that help be made available to those who need it? You are response/able.

We sit around and bemoan the fact that others discriminate against us because of our religion, our race, our gender, or our sexual preference. What have you done to teach the community about Wicca? Have you ever marched in a Gay Pride parade? Do you ever find yourself thinking of "others" as less worthy than you? You are response/able/able.

The God/dess asks more of us as Wiccans than that we meet at the full of the moon. She requires that we also take responsibility for caring for her creation as her teachings tell us. That is her stewardship to us.

Fifty years ago thousands of men gave their lives on the beaches of Normandy to right a wrong for which they were not responsible. We may (or may not) have such dramatic moments in our lives. But we must decide every day whether and how we shall contribute to the world's supply of pain or its supply of grace. We are able to make a response to that pain, that grace. That is our responsibility.

Copyright © Lark 1994

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Last updated June 29, 1998