Thursday, June 2, 2011

Values in Action: A Library Encounter

June is the 3rd Annual Pagan Values Blogging (and Podcasting) Month.  Check out the Blog or the Facebook event for more information.  To start if off, I'd like to share what happened earlier this week.

I had a good night on Tuesday.  It was the kiddo’s last day of school.  In fact, it was his last day of elementary school.  He will be going to sixth grade next year in the middle school.  To celebrate, we went out to his favorite restaurant for dinner.  Before we went to eat, however, we stopped at the library.  

It could have been a bad night.  At the library, I noticed my ex-husband’s new ex-wife, and my son’s half-sister.  The kiddo hasn’t seen his sister, or his father, for about three years.  His father decided it was less stress on his new family to cut ties with his old and stop seeing his son.

I could have pointed the pair out to my kiddo.  I could have walked over and let loose a torrent of curse words.  I could have walked over and said what I had rehearsed a million times in my head.

But I didn’t.

It was an important day for my kiddo.  One he had been counting down to for the whole month.  Mention of his father often has him in tears or a week’s worth of attitude.  He never talks about his sister, so I didn’t know if he would want to see her or not.  So, I let it go and had a great dinner date with my kiddo.

I treated my child, another child, and my ex-best friend the way I would want to be treated.

That is the core of my belief system and the core of what I teach my son.  I treat people the way I want to be treated.  If I want to be treated with respect, I respect other people.  If I want to move on, I have to let others move on too.  I’m not perfect, and I’m not sure I will survive the kiddo’s tween years, but I try.  That’s all I can ask of myself, my son, and my gods.

My values are central to my religion, but they are values I think everyone should share.  It is important that I give back to the world what I want to receive.  If I want to see beauty and generosity, I need to offer those same things. 

And so when I hold the door open for a stranger with a load of books, when I smile at someone passing in the hall, when I walk away from a fight, I offer them a piece of myself in the hopes that they will do the same.  I show them how I want to be treated.  That’s all I can do.