It’s All A Matter of Respect
The definition of the word respect from The Merriam-Webster Dictionary, is “to give special attention or special worth to something”. And from the same dictionary, to label something wrong would be to believe that it is “incorrect, immoral and unethical”.
So my question for you is, could you believe that something is incorrect, immoral and unethical but still respect it? Is that concept even possible when we look at the definition of the two words, respect and wrong? After considering this question I came to the conclusion that an individual could accept that something exists but still believe that it is wrong however, could that same individual truly respect its existence? Do you value things that you believe are wrong or are all things wrong (immoral and unethical) worthless? If you think that there are things here on earth that are wrong do you feel that they still hold value or would it be beneficial to humanity to destroy them and be done with it?
My personal spiritual path is Eclectic Wicca. My immediate family and I celebrate the eight Wiccan Sabbats of: Yule, Imbolc, Ostara, Beltane, Litha, Lammas, Mabon, and Samhain and as part of our celebration we include a Ritual which is our equivalent of a Catholic Mass. Our Church is our backyard and home. Every time anyone sets foot in our home they are in fact setting foot in my Church. My mundane life is intertwined with my spiritual life. I have no other building I call a Church that separates it. Nature IS my Church. My life is this way because for me, my spirituality or my “religion” cannot be separated and if I did separate each part of my life, I would be denying a part of me. A part of who I am.
Most people tell me that they respect my spiritual path. They would not chose it as their own path but they accept my beliefs even though they are not Christian beliefs. But is accepting and respecting the same? If we look back into The Merriam-Webster Dictionary: accepting is “to endure without protest”, and earlier we found that respecting is “to give something special attention, worth or regard.” Are they truly holding my spiritual beliefs in high regard? Do they think twice about the things they say in regards to Wicca or witches? Or even paganism? Is someone who is quick to point out the differences between Christianity and Paganism being respectful if they are Christian and the tone they are speaking in is NOT? I agree that facts are truth – but what is the implication behind the facts they are speaking of?
There have been instances when comments have been made in my presence that I’ve personally chosen not to address for numerous reasons. It could have been due to my shock that the comment was spoken aloud or that I could find no way to address the comment in a positive and loving way without disrespecting the speaker. In all cases however, I’ve felt hurt, angered and disappointed because I’ve felt that both my spirituality and character had been disrespected but still I was expected to do the complete opposite and show respect to the individual who had made the disparaging comments.
I am painfully aware that there is a double standard in society, especially here in the United States, and I am prepared to defend my religious beliefs to the majority of the population. I expect some people to shy away from my home and my person if they are aware of my spiritual beliefs. I welcome the opportunities to educate those who are ignorant of what my personal beliefs truly are and to dispel any superstitions that they may hold about Wicca, witches and paganism in general. This is one of the reasons why I have a channel on YouTube, a blog and teach classes/workshops at the metaphysical shop.
But I don’t expect close friends and family to disregard my beliefs in the same way as a stranger would. And I am disappointed, as I am sure many of you are or would be, when and if they do.