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Everyone has a cause–some hot button issue that gets their dander up, something that they are willing to go the extra mile for, some idea or ideal that they consider part of their very identity.  At least one, and sometimes many. Something that we feel strongly about, that speaks from our soul and is representative of our fundamental values about life and living.

Your cause might be about the status of human rights in this country and others, about the plight of children living in poverty, about access to reproductive health care for women, or to preserve and protect biodiversity by limiting human degradation of the environment.  Your cause might be for the promotion of  equitable employment and equal compensation, about supporting the efforts of families to raise their children in healthy environments, protecting high risk populations from abuse, exploitation and neglect, or to preserve religious freedom for all people by protecting government from church-sponsored lobbyists.  Your cause might be none of these things, or all of them.

But more important than what our opinion is on any given cause is what our actions are:

  • What do we do about our cause(s) on a daily/weekly/monthly/yearly basis?
  • How do we act out our beliefs (and/or represent them) with integrity in our everyday actions?
  • How do we promote our beliefs in a way that honors the dignity of both ourselves, AND those with diametrically opposed values from our own?
Because its not enough to have a cause. You have to act on it as well.
Luckily there are tons of ways we can do that!
Go out and vote.  Write your congressman.  Exercise your First Amendment rights and protest.  Listen to those that have been marginalized.  Speak out against injustice and ignorance.  Practice socially responsible consumerism.  Insist on sustainable practices from the companies you do business with.  Pick up trash or plant a garden.  Tutor a kid, donate some money, or ride your bike instead of driving.  The list is long…but above all, practice what you preach.
Don’t get me wrong…sometimes its hard.  Sometimes its darn inconvenient. Sometimes we fall down, we get tired and we give up at seemingly insurmountable odds. Sometimes we are forced to compromise our ideals to put food on the table and a roof over our heads.  Sometimes we just make mistakes.  We are after all, merely human.  But we are also Pagan.  We are worshippers of imperfect gods.  We are not asked to achieve perfection because our gods are as much like us as we are like them. Instead we are tasked with picking ourselves up and to doing better or trying harder next time–we are tasked with “striving for excellence”.

It is not enough for us to just have our beliefs and let that be the end of the story.

Our job is to live our beliefs out loud and in our actions.  Our job is to put our money (or our time, effort and energy) where our mouth is.

***This has been a post for the annual Pagan Values Blogject–this year I’m blogging on my personal values and how they are informed by and in turn inform my spiritual and religious beliefs.  In past years, I’ve blogged on the values that are central to our family (hospitalityserviceintegrity, and conservation) as well as those that I think are uniquely represented in the wider Pagan umbrella  (respectpluralitysacredness, and experiental gnosis).  Other posts this year for this year included “my body, my temple”“pass it on”, and “live where you are (and love where you live)”.***