Price of victory

Dealing with those who don't honor their word or their faith

One of my hot buttons is that I get lumped in with the "Pagans" offering (occasionally dangerous) misinformation and outright lies. Not because I choose to be, but because those blithering fools use some of the same terminology as I do.

I have been tempted a few times to go after some of the more blatant examples online. Righteous sword of fury, truth be my shield, all that sort of thing. Pretty much the only thing that stopped me the last time was realizing that wasn't the sort of person I really wanted to be anymore.

For several years, my professional success rested on my ability to manipulate others. Sometimes this would mean using truth, or at least something that could be verified factually. Sometimes this would mean setting up a "awkward" situation that I could then play off of someone. Sometimes it meant seducing someone who I wasn't particularly attracted to so I could gain information or control of information. And sometimes it would just mean making sure that the wrong thing was discovered at the right time. This behavior is surprisingly easy, particularly if you are in a corporate culture that recognizes and rewards it. Some of the most satisfying, at least for the moment it lasted, was triggering an avalanche of disaster, ripping apart all they had said and done while refuting every single thing the opposition could say.

I was very good at my job.

But I couldn't clean the stink off.

I had some personal issues too. So I decided to walk away and try another path. Part of that meant embracing my "Paganess" more. Part of it meant adopting a morality and ethics that I thought I had left behind. It involved some soul searching and confronting some unpleasant personal truths.

But still it gets to me. Seeing folks I KNOW who are about as Pagan now as they were Christian last month dole out "wisdom" like spoiled milk. People who are more interested in the title because they think it will give them the respect they can't be bothered to earn.

So when I started hearing about "hunters of newbies" (not the term they use) I sympathized. There seemed to be at least two online groups and one (offline) group in a Southwestern state all roughly dedicated to the same thing. I understood their goals. After all, if I run into certain types, I have been known to take down a few peg perchers myself. I just didn't go hunting for it.

One of the things I have learned is that our actions shape our expectations. If we have betrayed, we expect to be betrayed. If we lie, we expect to be lied to. If we hurt someone, we expect to be hurt. Psychology calls it projection, my grandmother called it justice. Because eventually, you can get so wrapped up in the expectation you can forget to watch what is happening around you. Your deepest passions shape your reality and it becomes a self-fufilling prophecy.

From talking offline to one hunter couple and reading online, I think the hunters are beginning to realize that themselves.

What good does it do to win the war if you become what you hate?

Gods, it's a lesson I wish I had learned years ago.

Posted: Tue - December 12, 2006 at 04:08 PM
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